Russia is considering creating Unity, a competitor to Unreal Engine

A woman dressed in a military uniform stands over the plans of the battlefield, and fighting vehicles line up behind her.

Thunder of Waris a game developed by the Russian studio Gaijin Entertainment.
Image: Gaijin Entertainment

Russia is exploring the possibility of developing a national video game engine to support the country’s developers if US companies such as Unreal Engine creator Epic Games and Unity Technologies refuse to do business with them due to the Russian government’s ongoing attack on Ukraine. Kommersant reports. (h/t eXputer)

Kommersant Sources say the potential for this kind of state reaction was born at a closed-door meeting between representatives of the presidential administration and representatives of the Russian video game industry in May. with epic in-game trade blocking in Russia and Unity”suspension of relations” with organizations associated with the Russian government after the invasion of Ukraine, some fear that local studios may at some point completely lose access to vital development tools.

Ministry of Digital Development of Russia confirmed Kommersant that he is in talks with “major players” in the IT industry, including the Russian social media platform VKontakte, about the need to support the domestic video game industry with a domestic game engine. The prevailing argument is that such an initiative could be funded by a grant from the Russian Foundation for Information Technology Development, which typically ranges from 20 million rubles (about $345,000) to 500 million rubles (about $8.6 million).

I can’t help but see Russia as playing its own version of Bender’s popular song.blackjack and prostitutesroutine out Futurama. Like building a theme park, the evil creation of a new game engine from scratch is neither cheap nor easy, and those who know better have serious concerns about the viability of this hypothetical project.

This, for example, was reported by an unnamed source in the Russian gaming industry. Kommersant that the government would need to invest tens of millions of dollars just to keep up with the built-in ecosystem of “logical blocks, assets and plugins” available through other game engines. Another expert expressed concern about the training of specialists, as well as the need to involve video card manufacturers such as Nvidia and AMD, which also stopped doing business in Russia.

My very astute business and political analysis tells me that Russia probably doesn’t have the resources to go further, especially since its months-long conflict with Ukraine and subsequent global sanctions are still in place. wreak havoc on the Russian economy. While it would be nice to see more competition in game engines, it’s only a matter of time before, like Bender, the handful of oligarchs running the country get bored and decide to spend their money on yachts and blowing instead.

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