In an interesting move by Nintendo we have learned that the company has cut a deal to license the Unity engine for the Wii U for use internally and to hand out externally, as well. This might be a first for a platform holder. The deal as described as a “long term” deal, which apparently translates into “several years,” according to Unity CEO David Helgason.
It is thought that the move might be an effort for the company to embrace Indy development on the Wii U console. There already exists a large amount of titles that run on the Unity engine, and with a little tweaking it would be possible to convert them to the Wii U platform.
The Unity 4 version of the engine is the best version of the engine yet and adds a number of innovative features to the engine. Unity, an actual engine, also offers an App Store extension that developers are able to leverage. Unity is optimized for the Wii U and its specific hardware.
While it is hard to determine the impact the Unity engine might have, it isn’t the only engine that is up and running on the Wii U. Epic also has their Unreal Engine optimized and running on the Wii U hardware. This is specifically important because many games that are being ported over to the Wii U use the Unreal Engine.
Nintendo has no comment on its plans for Unity or how one might be able to access it.