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India Special Market for Unity Technologies; Streaming the Next Big Thing in Gaming Creator of the most widely used real-time 3D development platform in the world, Unity sees India as a special market given its early adoption of deep-tech such as mixed reality

By Debroop Roy

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Unity Technologies
Arvind Neelakantan, Unity’s Head of Technology and Evangelism, Indian subcontinent

Unity Technologies, known for its widely used game engine, has big plans for India. From being a cross-platform game engine, Unity's platform is now used for real-time 3D development across sectors.

"India is one of the early adopters of MR (mixed reality) technologies which makes India a special market for us," said Unity's vice-president of product Andrew Bowell during his keynote address at Unite India 2019 held in Kochi recently.

Companies are using Unity's platform to design, build and sell products with the help of its real-time 3D simulation capabilities, said Bowell.

"The places where real-time technology is being used is kind of everywhere, that's the future," Arvind Neelakantan, Unity's head of technology and evangelism for the Indian subcontinent, told Entrepreneur India.

Unity is working closely with customers in India to help build customized solutions. "If someone wants a particular solution to be made for them, we work with them to provide that kind of a solution which then rolls back into the Unity editor," Neelakantan said.

Gaming in India

With the introduction of affordable 4G Internet services in the Indian market, people in India are able to play more, according to Neelakantan.

"Over 50 per cent of all the games that you see published on the (Google) Play Store is made with Unity and India has a huge Play Store market," he said.

Has there been a significant uptick from India since the Jio revolution? "We definitely know for a fact that people have been playing more graphic intense games," said Sharatchandra Aithal, field engineer at Unity.

Inflection Point For Gaming

One of the "biggest and coolest" new things that Unity has introduced is render streaming, said Neelakantan.

"If you have a super high-definition game and you just want to play it on a mobile device, nothing is stopping you from doing it because nothing is being done on your device. It's all just being streamed on the server and you are just playing it over there," he said.

The device hardware wouldn't matter as much, according to him.

"I think (the) games will become something like Netflix or Hotstar... a subscription service where you are just playing a game on a need basis," he said.

Another interesting inflection point for gaming, according to Sharatchandra, could be extremely small games that one can play inside other applications such as Facebook Messenger. "One of our internal projects, called Project Tiny, lets you do 2D right now in the minimalistic possible manner," he said.

"If you take a screenshot of the game that's bigger than the game itself," added Neelakantan.

Unity is extending the project to include 3D and eventually augmented reality, Sharatchandra said.

Adoption of Deep-Tech

"Unity has been giving developers who are building applications for these kind of platforms (AR, VR and the likes) almost day zero support," said Sharatchandra.

According to him, in India, it's especially important to give developers such kind of support as a majority of the population cannot afford the products that bigger companies have developed in the space.

What about adoption of deep-tech like mixed reality in India? "Consumers are expecting real-time and when that is the case, it's just a matter of time," Neelakantan said.

Debroop Roy

Former Correspondent

Covering the start-up ecosystem in and around Bangalore. Formerly an energy reporter at Reuters. A film, cricket buff who also writes fiction on weekends.
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