Unity launches new mobile game distribution platform for Android storefronts

Sam Desatoff, Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 6:58 pm

With the mobile market absolutely booming, it can be overwhelming for an up-and-coming developer faced with the prospect of getting their game in front of consumers. Beyond simply the sheer number of titles released on a monthly basis, there’s also the task of taking a game live on one of the many digital storefronts that exist on mobile platforms. For this part at least, game creation tools provider Unity Technologies is making things a bit easier.

Last week, Unity launched the Unity Distribution Portal (UDP), a program that makes it easy for developers to add their games to many storefronts at the same time. Right now, UDP is only compatible with Android devices, but users will easily be able to leverage the growing user base of stores other than the Google Play Store, such as the Samsung Galaxy Store, Huawei AppGallery, and Xiaomi GetApps, among others.

“As the smartphone user base continues to expand and becomes more fragmented, it’s harder than ever for developers to maximize their reach, thanks to the different software development kit requirements for different app stores in the Android ecosystem,” a Unity spokesperson told GameDaily. “The Unity Distribution Portal was created to help make publishing mobile games on alternative app stores that are on Android-based devices faster and easier for developers.”

Unity said that it has no immediate plans to make the UDP compatible with iOS because that platform doesn’t have as many alternate stores as the Android market. Additionally, according to reports, Android has a nearly 75% share of the global operating system market, meaning that launching for Android gives developers access to more players.

The way the UDP works is that when developers submit their game to the portal, it automatically creates specific builds with all the required SKDs in the background. This should save devs a huge amount of time when they want to publish to multiple storefronts. Unity estimates that this will offer developers access to more than 1 billion consumers across 188 countries.

“To give your game maximum reach, it’s important to address local audiences individually. UDP aims to solve this problem in a single hub,” the spokesperson said.

The existence of the UDP speaks to the lucrative nature of the mobile market and the ongoing democratization of game development. Even before COVID-19 struck, it was the most profitable in the games industry, but the pandemic has highlighted just how popular it is. According to a June report from Newzoo, the mobile segment will generate nearly half of all games revenue in 2020; approximately $63.6 billion in total. With numbers like this, it’s understandable that more and more developers are seeking a piece of the pie.

This impressive revenue is coupled with a sharp rise in gaming app downloads. In July, mobile analytics provider Sensor Tower noted that app downloads grew by more than 31% last quarter. Unity’s UDP is primed to further democratize game development, which will result in the continued growth of the mobile market.

Sam, the Editor-in-Chief of GameDaily.biz, is a former freelance game reporter. He's been seen at IGN, PCGamesN, PCGamer, Unwinnable, and many more. When not writing about games, he is most likely taking care of his two dogs or pretending to know a lot about artisan coffee. Get in touch with Sam by emailing him at sdesatoff@rektglobal.com or follow him on Twitter.

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