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Time to Move on to Something Else…

February 21, 2013 in Company News and Info, Rants & Raves by

Dear friends,

I’ve spent 10 years of my life on Unity – from writing the first version of ShaderLab (our shader compiler – yeah, you can blame the convoluted syntax on me), to my main focus of designing the Unity Editor (yup, every missing button is probably my fault as well), to working with our wonderful team on the Asset Store (where I don’t think I did too much damage).

It has been an awesome ride.

Over the years it has been amazing to watch Unity getting better and better at such a crazy speed. Lately I have been incredibly inspired by what you guys have been creating and have been experimenting more and more with my own ideas. It’s made me realize that I have games I want, no need, to make!

As great as it has been building Unity, I have come to feel that actually using it is what really scratches my itch. On days where I can just get into the zone and fidget around with some shaders, gamecode, a custom editor tool or whatnot, I feel really fulfilled. And at the end of the day, that’s what it boils down to (for me, at least)

So I will be leaving Unity in order to join your ranks and dedicate myself to creating games. This has not been an easy choice – in fact, it has been one of the hardest ones in my life. I am infinitely proud of everything I’ve been part of building, proud of the team, and proud of having a tiny part of me in all your games. So proud that I can’t wait to experience Unity from the other side of the fence.

I’ve given to Unity all I had to give, and now I gotta go do what I gotta go do.

Wish me luck!

 

Nicholas Francis

Unity co-founder

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Sir.Tiddlesworth
21 Feb 2013, 3:19 am

Best of luck to you.

M.G.
21 Feb 2013, 3:20 am

Hope to see the full potential of Unity in your games someday.
Best of luck.
Magnus

Richard Fine
21 Feb 2013, 3:21 am

Best of luck man. Hope I still get the chance to buy you a drink at a Unite or something someday.

Myhijim
21 Feb 2013, 3:28 am

Best of luck!

21 Feb 2013, 3:33 am

Best of luck and thanks for all your work making Unity what it is today…. and then about ShaderLab…. =)

Mikael
21 Feb 2013, 3:38 am

I remember briefly meeting you at a IGDA bar meeting back in the day (I think it was 2003?!), when Unity had still not been released and it was running Mac-only, thinking to myself you guys had set out on a journey that was impossible to predict the outcome of. How far Unity has come since then!

I’m deeply convinced that your influence had a lot to do with that, so best of luck to you Nicholas, and to Unity for parting with such a valuable resource! :)

21 Feb 2013, 3:43 am

I don’t blame you. Way too much fun to be had making games with Unity :)

asancio
21 Feb 2013, 3:45 am

Good Luck for your new adventure Nicholas!

21 Feb 2013, 3:48 am

Have fun, Nicholas! Actually using Unity is pretty great. :)

21 Feb 2013, 3:51 am

What sad news, but I can understand it. I wish you all the best and thanks for making Unity. It feels a bit like you’re the Steve Jobs going out of Apple (except you’re alive!) :-) and I hope UT has a strong replacement for you.

Oh and on this side of the pixels – the game making side – it’s a fun place! ;-)

akhilesh
21 Feb 2013, 3:58 am

it felt like oceans moving in front of me, do big and fierce deep and yet gives a calming sensation when viewed ….. hope you crack games like you did with unity.. thanks.

21 Feb 2013, 4:03 am

Good Luck Nicolas! Hope you have a rewarding future.

Joe Santos (That guy in the hat)
21 Feb 2013, 4:06 am

Nicholas,

It truly was an awesome and amazing ride. From Unite 2007 – “Shock and Awe” were the words once used by you to describe Unity… and the community grew, the industry responded, and awesome happened. Good luck on your new venture!

Mika
21 Feb 2013, 4:10 am

Thank you so much and i have to say that i really love what you have created.
I wish you all the best in future and have smooth ride…

21 Feb 2013, 4:13 am

Good Luck !

21 Feb 2013, 4:16 am

Thank you for all you have done for Unity, best of luck!

Adam T
21 Feb 2013, 4:28 am

Good luck mate – you’ve well and truly earned the right to stretch you legs! :-)

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

21 Feb 2013, 4:29 am

Good luck, and thanks for everything! It’s an incredible Engine.

Saulo Teymeny
21 Feb 2013, 4:31 am

Nicholas, Thank you.
I wish the best to you.
Good luck!

21 Feb 2013, 4:31 am

Good Luck and Welcome!

Gustavo B
21 Feb 2013, 4:41 am

Thankyou for spend so much of your life with a tool that allow us bring our dreams to reality. Good luck.

21 Feb 2013, 4:43 am

Nicolas Francis and the entire Unity development team are in my opinion some of the true development geniuses in the development world today. You all have created an incredibly awesome product!!

Nicolas, while we just started with Unity3d in the last few months and while EnsenaSoft’s early classic games may appear simple in comparison to what we are starting to do, after 20+ years of business app development I felt the same calling to make games 3.5 years ago. I wanted to make simple games like what I enjoyed as a kid on my C64 and games my family could enjoy. 3.5 years later I have to say it is the VERY best career decision I have ever made. The competition now is tougher than ever and the money might sometimes be tight – but I and my entire team are having the time of our lives and love what we get to do everyday.

I wish you the very best in your new endeavors and look forward to seeing your came creations in the market. You are definitely starting with the right tool for the job!! Unity3d has allowed us to start doing thing I could have only dreamed of a year ago. And then we can bring it to multiple platforms so easily within a day of final product completion.

Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer, John Lasseter – “If you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life.” – http://6ixpassions.com/post/7620674468/a-day-in-the-life-of-pixars-john-lasseter-if

Samuel DenHartog,
Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer,
EnsenaSoft, S.A. de C.V.

21 Feb 2013, 4:44 am

I really hope to read more about your adventure on the Unity’s begin.
Very rare and precious to read such lines about Unity’s “olders”.
Unity is today my unique income from jobs as a freelancer for the past 3-4 years.
Then I wish you a long and great life and so much thank your for the engine you bring to us here so far.

21 Feb 2013, 5:09 am

good luck! thanks for what you did for the indies!

21 Feb 2013, 5:19 am

Thank’s for this really great tool!
Good luck!

21 Feb 2013, 5:22 am

Thanks for everything you did for us. Unity is something new, something wich bring independant and amateurs a powerfull tool to express creativity and focus on gameplay and emerging experiences. I really enjoy using Unity since three years, I’m pretty sure you’ll do the same ;) Good Luck ! We all are curious to see what you’ll do with your own tool !

Thomas Hagen
21 Feb 2013, 5:22 am

Good luck Nicholas! I look forward to play your games.

21 Feb 2013, 5:29 am

Nicholas, best of luck to you mate!

21 Feb 2013, 5:38 am

Best of luck!

21 Feb 2013, 5:43 am

I’m sad to see you leave for us, but i’m glad you can work on what excites you more right now =)
Thanks a lot for all your great efforts over the years, without you unity wouldn’t be what it is and yes, in all of our games there’s a part of you in there, thanks man =)

Someone
21 Feb 2013, 5:44 am

Best of luck Nicholas! Thanks for everything you did with Unity and indie game developers. =)

Patrick Hogenboom
21 Feb 2013, 5:45 am

Welcome on the other side of the fence, have FUN :)

Lars Kroll
21 Feb 2013, 5:54 am

Best of luck man. It’s been a while since that evening in Copenhagen, talking strategy :-) Can’t wait to see what you’ll cook up now…..

21 Feb 2013, 5:58 am

Thank you for all your work. Unity has been amazing ever since it started. I wish the best of luck to your and what the future holds for you. Good luck and thank you!

21 Feb 2013, 6:00 am

Thank you for all you’ve contributed over the years to this amazing product Nic.
All the best in your new ventures!

21 Feb 2013, 6:01 am

Ok that’s all nice and I don’t even have a doubt that you’ll do stellar but now, who will be the hard-headed nutt-buster in charge of keeping the UI clean and awesome ?

21 Feb 2013, 6:16 am

All the best, man! I’m looking forward to playing your games :)

Joe Williamsen
21 Feb 2013, 6:22 am

Best of luck to you, Nicholas, and thank you for all your hard work on the Unity engine. There are bazillions of artists out there who may not know it, but they are grateful to you for keeping the UI and workflow of Unity “artist-friendly”. I hope you’ll continue to contribute to the community with all kinds of cool scripts and addons …. you know …. the stuff they wouldn’t let you add to the release versions ;)

21 Feb 2013, 6:30 am

God speed, and thanks!

21 Feb 2013, 6:41 am

Welcome aboard on this side of Unity love (:D) and good luck!

Pete Francis
21 Feb 2013, 6:42 am

Four and twenty years ago, I told you there was no future in computer games but, of course, you wouldn’t listen ! Boy, how have you proved me wrong.
All the very best of luck and happiness in your return to gaming from a very proud Dad.

imaginaryhuman
21 Feb 2013, 6:44 am

Hey, great decision, follow your heart. We hope to see you on the forums soon!

JuneBleeds
21 Feb 2013, 6:54 am

Good luck to you, Nicholas. You have to do what you love and it looks like you will be. I only hope this isn’t the beginning of the end of Unity and its quality we’ve come to love.

21 Feb 2013, 6:59 am

best of luck and thank you very much!

DynamicHead
21 Feb 2013, 7:33 am

Goodbuy and good luck Dude! :)

mohanad
21 Feb 2013, 7:48 am

you are awesome Bro,I wish all luck for you Nicholas :)

21 Feb 2013, 7:56 am

I wish you all the best Francis.
You created some great stuff and I’m sure you will be missed. On the other side, who knows what you are going to create on the other side of the fence :)

I wished Unity Studios would have taken off so you could migrate over to that side to remain a valuable person in the middle related to both sides though.

21 Feb 2013, 9:29 am

Welcome to the hard journey of entertainment design.
Should never have asked you todo a UI editor. duh!
Now get a shave!

21 Feb 2013, 9:30 am

Just heard the news and I’m shocked! :(

I really & honestly think your UnityGUI is a *masterpiece* (you really should have mentioned it here!) I learned a great deal of coding with it – I owe you a beer, buddy!

Good luck!

mmoDust
21 Feb 2013, 9:33 am

One of us! One of us!

Leaving the company that makes Unity to start using Unity shows great confidence in this software and company and gives us a ton of confidence in the future of it as well =)

21 Feb 2013, 9:53 am

Custom editors in UnityEditor + Asset Store is what really drives Unity forward. Based on this 2 things Unity succeeded in areas where others didn’t.

Any chance to reconsider your decision?!?

21 Feb 2013, 9:57 am

That last line, is the punch line!!!
good luck!!! and thanks for giving the world such an amazing company and tool, both already have changed the game industry for good

Maurice Hoffman
21 Feb 2013, 11:02 am

Nicolas, in a world where once you had to be a big company to develop a game, Unity has changed the face of game development forever. With the new PS4, Xbox 720, Steambox and de app store for the Apple TV , game development for small teams will never be the same.

Follow your dreams and with hard work they will come true.

Good luck and thanks for making my life better since the first release of Unity3D.
(I never touched Darkbasic, Blitz3d, 3d game studio, Torque again)

21 Feb 2013, 11:28 am

Good luck and thanks for Unity!

21 Feb 2013, 12:17 pm

Thank you for all your work on Unity! I’ve been a big fan since Over The Top Entertainment and GooBall! Also Welcome to the trenches! I wish you well on your new venture and look forward to playing your games.

Scott
21 Feb 2013, 12:30 pm

Based on the past ten years, you obviously know how to make smart choices… and you’ve definitely helped change the world for the better.

Cheers dude- hopefully I’ll get to bump into you someday and give you a high-five.

Rytis
21 Feb 2013, 12:43 pm

Good luck Nicholas!

olivier
21 Feb 2013, 1:10 pm

Thank you very much, as a valuable member of the Unity team
you have made everything possible for me (and I am sure for many others).
Now show us how game should be design and inspire us even more!

Jan
21 Feb 2013, 1:56 pm

The big question is will Nicholas be using Unity? :) He probably will get a free life-time license.

Samantha
21 Feb 2013, 2:40 pm

Best of luck Nich! Make us proud :-)

Natali Abbortini
21 Feb 2013, 4:29 pm

I don’t think that Nicholas is completely leaving Unity. Maybe Autodesk is planning some kind of suprise together with Unity Technologies. Remember what happened right before Autodesk bought Maya , Mudbox , Scaleform , Beast and Kynapse AI ?

Gregory
21 Feb 2013, 4:34 pm

@Natali Abbortini

yes,i remember. first the people from those companies were asked to work much closer with autodesk for a while,so they had to leave their companies first. And then autodesk acquired those companies later right ?

Manon Seppen
21 Feb 2013, 4:55 pm

@Natali Abbortini @Gregory

Well autodesk has been acquiring a lot of game technologies lately.Maybe they are planning something yes.I think they are being very careful with it because of the competition.

Brendon
21 Feb 2013, 5:03 pm

@Manon Seppen
personally I would like it very much if autodesk would work much more closely with unity tech.
Unity3D reminds me a lot of Maya.

21 Feb 2013, 6:18 pm

very sad you’re leaving the company.. it’s a really hard decision that you’ve made.. but Hey.. we have to go into the place where our heart says.. and do anything that our brain thinks :)
In that way, we will be able to satisfy our goals and become happy. I wish you good lucks and god bless on your journey into the game development :)

Hoping to see the full blast feature of unity from your games.! :)

21 Feb 2013, 6:50 pm

Francis, i followed your work for 6 of your 10 years. And it was really impressive!. Greetings from Colombia.

Have a great future!,

Sebastian V.

21 Feb 2013, 10:28 pm

… why are my comments not getting through (tried at least 5 times by now)?

21 Feb 2013, 10:29 pm

Ah … at last ;-)

Wow, that’s shocking news … I think it’s awesome that you follow your heart and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the games you create – so, I’m definitely happy for you to do what you desire to do most. That’s really awesome!

But I think it’s really sad that you’re leaving UT because I think your genius will be missing in the picture. And I’m really worried about the new GUI now :-(

So maybe one day you’ll be a little annoyed that you can’t easily fix something you feel is missing in Unity (or remove something you feel is “too much clutter”) … and after a relaxed coffee with David and Joachim, you return (and maybe UT will “eat its own dogfood” by creating some awesome Unity games, so you can have the best of both worlds ;-) ).

Awss
21 Feb 2013, 10:50 pm

Nicely written, best of luck.

21 Feb 2013, 11:53 pm

Good Luck in your new endevours!

Mohan Doss
22 Feb 2013, 2:04 am

All the best Nicholas for your new journey.

Peter
22 Feb 2013, 4:36 am

Best of luck to you Nicholas. I always remember you as a great visionary of interesting games, so I really look forward to see what you come up with. Thanks for taking me in back in the day and teaching me all about shaders and shaderlab. In the highly unlikely event that you ever need anything back on that account, let me know :).

Anders Haldin
22 Feb 2013, 4:56 am

Wow I´m stunned… but best of luck, looking forward to seeing some awesome games coming from your direction!

Arthur
22 Feb 2013, 6:32 am

Congrats for your amazing job doing Unity. Best of luck in your new adventure. :)

22 Feb 2013, 8:04 am

It’s been a great work, certainly you work and you’ll continue doing great work!

22 Feb 2013, 8:40 am

Thank you Nicholas for all you have done for us! Your work with the Unity editor, UnityGUI, and ShaderLab has had an amazing positive influence in my life. I was blown away by how easy it was to use and extend the editor. I’ll never forget meeting you at Unite 2009, you were so full of energy and were so generous with your help and advice to all of us there, you are truly an amazing individual. Bet of luck with your new projects and thanks again for everything you have done for us :-)!

Boris Baghdikian
22 Feb 2013, 9:00 am

Best of luck my friend! And welcome to our ranks!

22 Feb 2013, 9:05 am

Best of luck! But you’re not the only older guy scratching this itch. Several peers in the industry are also leaving their jobs in their 40s and 50s, to follow their own dream games. The magnum opus will not create itself only by dreams, a man has to act on his dreams.

Enjoy the ride that is to follow!

Brandon Landgraff
22 Feb 2013, 9:31 am

I wish you great luck!

moha_k
22 Feb 2013, 1:04 pm

به امید دیدار ، شما زحمات زیادی برای همه کشیدید خدا پشت و پناهتون
Nicholas Francis

Robin
22 Feb 2013, 1:09 pm

Welcome on board!

If you need help with Unity –
here are the docs : http://unity3d.com/company/support/documentation/
j/k

Good luck! and congrats!

Felix Kütt
23 Feb 2013, 5:11 am

Who needs luck if one has talent & knowledge of the internals of the engine on ones side?

But non the less, may all that be accompanied by all the luck in the world,
and thank you for all you have provided us with while you’ve worked at UT. :)

Cheers!

Natali Abbortini
23 Feb 2013, 6:47 am

I don’t think that Nicholas is completely leaving Unity. Maybe Autodesk is planning some kind of suprise together with Unity Technologies. Remember what happened right before Autodesk bought Maya , Mudbox , Scaleform , Beast and Kynapse AI ?

Gregory
23 Feb 2013, 6:49 am

@Natali Abbortini

yes,i remember. first the people from those companies were asked to work much closer with autodesk for a while,so they had to leave their companies first. And then autodesk acquired those companies later right ?

Manon Seppen
23 Feb 2013, 6:50 am

@Natali Abbortini @Gregory

Well autodesk has been acquiring a lot of game technologies lately.Maybe they are planning something yes.I think they are being very careful with it because of the competition.

Brendon
23 Feb 2013, 6:52 am

@Manon Seppen

personally I would like it very much if autodesk would work much more closely with unity tech.
Unity3D reminds me a lot of Maya..

Sean Baggaley
23 Feb 2013, 12:49 pm

Hi Francis,

I remember when Unity Technologies was still OTEE, lived in a single office in Denmark, and only yay (holds hand out at about desktop height) high. It’s been fun watching you all grow into a genuinely innovative multinational company from such small beginnings. Kudos to you, Joe, David and the others: you created the games industry’s equivalent of the iPad – a truly disruptive technology that rewrote the rules of the game.

Unity, for the first time since the mid-’90s, reignited that missing spark that first attracted me to game development. I’m actually (finally!) working with it in anger now.

And UT’s loss is the UT development community’s gain. Get drunk, say your farewells to the team, then… have fun.

23 Feb 2013, 2:47 pm

What’s Francis is living right now is what’s made me stop making my own engine and focus on my ultimate goals (which are create games, not engines)! And that’s when I’ve found Unity, Back in 2005. :)
I remember meeting with Francis in GDC 2010! What a nice guy. Same from David and Joachim.
I wish you the best Francis and let us know about your new adventures creating games! :)

Craig Scott
23 Feb 2013, 8:43 pm

You’re the man haha

koblavi
24 Feb 2013, 7:41 am

I remember when I first found unity in 2008. It was love at first sight (first sight was the splash screen of the two large rocks on the island project). Back then you guys called unity a prototyping engine. Nicholas was one of the first faces I saw while still reading documentation. (I honestly used to think he was Dave… ooops). You’ve been part of something really great. Not many words can describe what Unity has done to the industry. It’s been the pace setter for the indie movement. When people think Indie Game…. They think Unity. Kinda how you think Google when you think search. And it probably wouldn’t have happened in our time if you and the guys had just given up on this idea. You will be missed.

Konstantin
24 Feb 2013, 11:09 am

Good luck. but im worried about new unity gui by Nicolas :(

Kevin Simkins
24 Feb 2013, 11:43 pm

Good luck to you Nicholas. Best wishes in your new adventure and I hope it works out great!

Alex
25 Feb 2013, 1:03 am

The best of luck to you!

25 Feb 2013, 9:33 am

Unity is awesome- thanks so much for everything Nicholas.

EvansGreen
26 Feb 2013, 10:18 am

I really hope you find in developing games the fulfillment you’re looking from! :D

Thank you for your work all these years!

SanMan
28 Feb 2013, 7:58 am

Well I have to wonder why this is happening. Sinking ship?

28 Feb 2013, 2:21 pm

Best of luck, Nicholas! It’s always best to move on when you feel that you need to do something different.

ZJP
28 Feb 2013, 6:39 pm

Don’t move!!!
The job is not finish. You forgot the “Make My MMO” button in the editor.
Just kidding. Good luck and many thanks.

Skilful Dindu
1 Mar 2013, 1:39 am

Nicho!!! You are a real gem. Thanks a lot for what you have brought to us today. Unity3d wouldnt have been possible without you. We appreciate and wish you well for your new dream(creating games). All the best Nicholas

Yanger_xy
2 Mar 2013, 6:14 pm

Good luck!

TryHarder
3 Mar 2013, 4:51 pm

OMG, lets us know which platform you’ll be targeting and I’ll switch, cause you have an unfair advantage !!

Only Joking, bring it on, and most importantly, don’t forget to have some serious fun along the way !

Very best of luck !

zumwalt
8 Mar 2013, 7:37 pm

Congratulations on such a wonderful life so far! Obviously he is not going anywhere, since he is going to be using what he created, this is more like he gets to make the cake and eat it too. He is part owner for crying out loud, now he is just a silent partner, no way would he give up any ownership, that would just be nuts.

19 Mar 2013, 7:27 am

Well you know i find UDK easier to use than unity, why I use unity cause you guys have make it more fun to use I like the workflow of unity a lot better, never have the meet you like other guys here. But I can say thanks for all the work you have done in Unity. and good luck welcome to this side.

As you where there helping us get a great engine we are here too, anycase just welcome to the community forums :)

Codie Petersen
21 Mar 2013, 6:58 pm

Good luck bro, and thanks for your hard work.

carlos santos
22 Apr 2013, 1:52 pm

good luck, I guess in the end you’ll never leve unity, even if ur not part of the development team.

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