Unity Turns 5, Happy Birthday!

June 7, 2010 in Rants & Raves

In 2003 three talented and creative individuals came together in Copenhagen, Denmark based on a shared vision about making their own game engine, one that they felt would quite literally change the game. They began to make that vision a reality while living the life of starving up-and-coming developers, working long hours and late nights with the hope that they would one day be able to share their dream with the world. Roughly two years later they did that and Unity was officially born. The first step came when Unity 1.0 was unveiled on stage at Apple’s WWDC conference on June 6, 2005. The second step came a day later when the first ever Unity license purchase was recorded on June 7, 2005, exactly five years ago today.

To help capture a bit of the feeling and emotion from those earliest of days I’d like to share some thoughts from David Helgason, our CEO. The following is taken from a blog post he made late at night on June 6th, the eve of Unity’s official release upon the world, titled “Last Day In This Life” (permalink):

I sincerely love my life.

It’s late again now, I’m listening to Xploding Plastix’ Amateur Girlfriends Go Proskirt Agents of the hateful genre nu-jazz… however it’s completely lovable like anything which is insanely too much.

… yeah… last day of what life? We’re wrapping up the last stuff for Unity, due to be released tomorrow, probably 2pm Pacific Standard Time (utc-8 if I recall correctly)… it’ll be out for the world to enjoy.

Keli is finishing off the webshop so people can actually buy Unity, I’m wrapping up the new Conception designed website, and Joe? He’s fixing bugs at what seems to be an average speed of 0.42 bugs per minute.

Most of the guys have gone home now – they know it’ll be a long day.

I need coffee. Now.

Little did he know just how much his life, and the lives of many thousands of others would actually change…

Fast forward to today, June 7th, 2010, there are now in excess of 170000 developers out there with Unity installed and that user base includes everyone from students and hobbyists on up to major studios like Electronic Arts. Additionally, the founders’ vision involved not just the creation of a new engine, but one that would empower developers to reach everyone, everywhere. As such Unity has grown from a tool that at first let developers target the desktop and web, to one that now allows them to target the desktop, web, mobile devices and consoles. Needless to say it’s been an incredibly exciting five years and we can only dream about what the next five (and beyond!) will be like. So today we celebrate and honor the 5th birthday of Unity. Please take a look at the press release we put out as it includes a number of interesting key facts about our company as well as a timeline of key milestones showing our progress over the last five years:

Unity Technologies Celebrates Five Years of Continual Leadership and Innovation in Making Cutting Edge Game Technology

Thanks to everyone at Unity Technologies for all the hard work and incredible passion you put into your work, we would never have this awesome thing called Unity without the blood, sweat and tears you’ve given. And thanks to everyone out there for your love, support and use of the product, without users out there creating cool content there is no Unity, period. So always remember that Unity isn’t just a product name, it’s a mission we’re all on together to democratize game development so we can all bring our digital dreams to life, and I for one couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.

Happy Birthday Unity!

Comments (50)

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  1. Fernando Zapata

    June 19, 2010 at 1:42 am / 

    Happy Birthday Unity! May you have many many more awesome years :D

  2. Cinimod

    June 14, 2010 at 6:19 pm / 

    Awesome … the futur is just there!

  3. Alexander Pavlovsky

    June 14, 2010 at 9:49 am / 

    Happy Birthday Unity (8 days ago :P)!!!

    Unity is the thing that makes dreams come true…period!
    Your team deserves nothing but praise, you guys did an outstanding job. Unity is a true testament to what love for the game can do.

    PS: You should probably think of changing the name of the platform though…Revolution!!1 is a more suiting one :)

    - deVoid Studios team

  4. Juergen

    June 10, 2010 at 8:07 pm / 

    Happy Birthday Unity!
    I’m also born on 7.th of June :-)

  5. Ashkan

    June 9, 2010 at 2:18 pm / 

    @Koblavi
    what a great comment man!
    unity freed us from big companies, from borring guys that we don’t love to work for and create the next shooter game again and again and again. unity proved the concepts of unity and love and hard work works in any field and in every place. for my friends and i, it even freed us from being a game developer for poleticians, the governemtn and what they want. we are 170,000+ free united developers that want to change the gaming world. you can drop out 20 or so licenses of EA :) we all help each other to change it and we have great supporters at UT, both technically and emotionally!

  6. marty

    June 9, 2010 at 5:24 am / 

    It’s Unity’s fifth birthday and we’re the ones getting the gift – namely, the soon-to-take-over-the-world Unity 3.

    That’s so typical of you guys!

    Keep up the great work – we love ya!

  7. Brandon Wu

    June 9, 2010 at 4:01 am / 

    Happy Birthday and I can’t believe I didn’t learn about Unity earlier. All the best!

  8. Ben Hazzard

    June 9, 2010 at 1:46 am / 

    Tom, your absence from the OS4 today thread in iPhone forums is causing great concern. Could you please pipe in with some kind of ‘nothing to report but we are still optimistic’ post just to prevent people from driving off a cliff with their family in the boot? Or alternatively if no-news means bad news, how about just posting ‘nothing to report’ without the optimistic part. We are feeling very abandoned an unloved.

  9. Koblavi

    June 9, 2010 at 1:37 am / 

    Happy independence day to all game devs and Indies who use UNITY!!! 5 years ago three noble men dreamed of a day when Indies/Game Devs would be librerated from Lengthy, buggy C/C++ code, ‘OpenGHell’ code, memory leaks and all that other stuff. 5 years we celebrate our new found freedom and look to the future of game development spearheaded by UNITY: Unity of 60 talented individuals and 170000+ Creative minds, The Unity of cutting edge rendering technology (Beast LM), open standards (Mono) and an amaizingly intuitive Editor UI. A true Unity of Man and Machine!(getting pretty emotional) More imortantly, Unity has indeed United us indie game devs with our destiny of creating amaizing games.
    Thank you Unity!!

  10. Tom Higgins

    June 8, 2010 at 10:56 pm / 

    Thanks for all the positive comments over the last day or so, it’s been overwhelming to have so many of you post up here, the forums, in my email inbox, over IM, etc. – all to offer some congratulations. And I’m but one of many people in this company so you can only imagine the great vibes that’s given all of us. Onward and upward we go!

  11. pixnlove

    June 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm / 

    Thank you very much for sharing that,
    It feel really, it really feel like a big
    family working toward one dream.
    Unity is very much unify people toward the greater good.
    To the three founder to the hundredth of development
    to the thousands of developers and hobbyist.
    I would like to give your my warmest Congratulation.
    Everlasting regards,

    PixnLove

  12. Scott Shaw

    June 8, 2010 at 9:11 pm / 

    Happy Birthday and many more!!

  13. Eugénio Santos

    June 8, 2010 at 8:36 pm / 

    Happy Birthday Unity

  14. Joey

    June 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm / 

    Happy birthday!

  15. Dwair

    June 8, 2010 at 10:52 am / 

    Happy birthday! We wish you many years more of awesomeness!

  16. Ivan

    June 8, 2010 at 8:58 am / 

    Congratulations to the company and all it’s wonderful guys and girls :) Thank you for a fantastic game engine and for making my job a joy.

  17. Des

    June 8, 2010 at 7:40 am / 

    I remember when you revealed unity to the world. Back then it was lik WOW!
    Still today, 3.0, WOW!
    Happy Birthday Unity! I wish you many happy developing years! :-*!

  18. Deden

    June 8, 2010 at 5:19 am / 

    Happy Birthday Unity! Congrats!

  19. Ludovic Bodin

    June 8, 2010 at 3:54 am / 

    Happy birthday Unity! May we all have a lot of fun in the coming decades!

  20. Jclef

    June 8, 2010 at 2:26 am / 

    Unity5 Still Alive – Happy Birthday, Guys! :D

  21. Arthur

    June 8, 2010 at 1:23 am / 

    Congrats from Brazil guys. You’ve done a really great job!

  22. Bruno T. Raymundo

    June 8, 2010 at 1:10 am / 

    Happy Birthday! Keep up the great work!

  23. tino

    June 7, 2010 at 11:26 pm / 

    Happy Birthday, and many more to come
    xxx

  24. chad

    June 7, 2010 at 10:47 pm / 

    Congrats!

  25. Tom Higgins

    June 7, 2010 at 10:45 pm / 

    I’m gathering some photos right now from throughout the years and sadly I’ve so far come up empty in my attempts to find pictures from WWDC 2005. I’m going to update this post and the forums when I do have those pictures ready to show.

    @Andy: the first person to purchase a license is Marty Plumbo. And oddly enough, Marty is also the guy that connected OTEE with me back in late Summer of 2006, a phone call that brought me on board with Unity as employee #5. :)

  26. St_Robert

    June 7, 2010 at 10:34 pm / 

    Happy Birthday!!!! i love unity3d *-* Is awesome :D good luck guys and so much years more!

  27. Adam D.

    June 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm / 

    Happy Birthday!

  28. IPete2

    June 7, 2010 at 10:00 pm / 

    Happy Birthday u guys!

    Keep up the excellent work – we need you.

    IPete2.

  29. Andreas Tietz

    June 7, 2010 at 9:59 pm / 

    Happy Birthday Unity !!!!!!!

  30. Psychoz Interactive CEO

    June 7, 2010 at 9:54 pm / 

    Happy Birthday Unity!
    Tanks to Unity we are creating and selling god games!
    Unity just make our hard-day-work dreams come true!
    Keep the hard work, Unity3 is almost there! :D
    Cheers,

  31. Andy Buckram

    June 7, 2010 at 9:11 pm / 

    I wonder, who bought the first Unity license? ;-)

  32. Jakko van Hunen

    June 7, 2010 at 8:22 pm / 

    Congratulation!

  33. Martin Schultz

    June 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm / 

    Happy birthday. Are there any photos from the wwdc lauch of Unity 1.0?

  34. David

    June 7, 2010 at 7:55 pm / 

    Congrats to everyone at Unity! My dream since I was a kid was to one day be a game developer. Unity is helping me to make that dream come to life. Thanks so much for all of your hard work, and thanks to the community for being so kind and friendly. This is an outstanding product that I love, along with so many of us.

    Here’s to many, many more fruitful years!

  35. Jeff McArthur

    June 7, 2010 at 7:49 pm / 

    Kudos guys, I remember that summer 5 years ago when Unity was released, I remembering spending my savings on version 1.0 trusting that this was the next big thing, both in indy game dev, and in my road to learning to become a game developer. Its been a crazy ride, both in the Unity development cycle and also in my own game dev learning cycle. Thanks to all of you for your hard work, for sharing a dream with us that clicked with our own dreams, and for being the reason I started to learn 3D art for real!

  36. Shaun Milne

    June 7, 2010 at 7:34 pm / 

    Happy birthday to you, good sirs!

  37. Thomas P.

    June 7, 2010 at 7:23 pm / 

    So will we ever see a remake of “GooBall” coming from you guys? ;) Congrats UT! I knew back then that you guys would one day rock the game industry. You’ve done it. Now let’s RocknRoll some more. Up the Irons!

    Thomas P.

  38. Kevin McCusker

    June 7, 2010 at 6:58 pm / 

    Happy Birthday Unity!

    Congratulations to everyone at Unity Technologies for creating a fantastic development tool.

    Keep up the great work!

  39. Adams Immersive

    June 7, 2010 at 6:40 pm / 

    Happy Birthday!

    Have a GooBall cake!

  40. Chris Allen

    June 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm / 

    Congratulations! Five years is a significant achievement! Thanks for creating an amazing product!

  41. baha

    June 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm / 

    Happy birthday to Unity :)

  42. duck

    June 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm / 

    Happy Birthday Unity!
    Congratulations on five years of flying-ninja-powered awesomeness!

  43. Paul Tondeur

    June 7, 2010 at 6:18 pm / 

    Happy birthday Unity! Thank you guys so much for your vision! You rock! Hopefully the upcoming 5years will be at least as successful and joyful as the previous.

  44. Lars Klein

    June 7, 2010 at 6:18 pm / 

    Unity Technologies,

    I thank you for five funny, interesting, emotional and – I think that’s the best reason to thank you – successful Years. I wish you a happy birthday and I think I speak on behalf of all German Unity users.

    Thank you & happy birthday (check out this picture, I love it: http://s3.directupload.net/images/100607/zfkui4m3.png )
    (Lars Klein)
    [http://www.unity-community.de/news/222-happy-birthday-unity]

  45. C4RL05

    June 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm / 

    Happy fifth birthday!

  46. Alex Schwartz

    June 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm / 

    Grats guys.

    5 years from now? Man, it’s tough to even imagine what kind of crazy tech will be coming out your doors.

  47. Ashkan

    June 7, 2010 at 6:07 pm / 

    the engine is awesome and you are more awesome guys.
    i found it in a really random process at release date of 2.1. i did not have a mac but waited and had it last march in beta. it was new year in our country. and i never forget that night that i read about the free edition. i could not sleep that night. you democratized it. unlike most people here in Iran i don’t use pirated software. buying unity was a dream that would happen after learning ASP.NET well and doing web development that was hard for a programming student that spend most of his time studying. i did not love that job as much as game development but one night my dream became true. now i am creating my own game development team with my closest friend Sina, and even now i am making money using unity. hopefully we will by 3.0 soon. now i spend my spare time in game development instead of working with those piece of borring bits or as you call (HTML).

  48. hugetto

    June 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm / 

    Happy birthday!

    We hope you stay for a long long time.

  49. Zak

    June 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm / 

    Happy birthday, Unity!! What a coincidence! It’s my 31st birthday today too!! :D

  50. Alberto

    June 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm / 

    Happy birthday to you!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;) 5 years WOW! ;)

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