relyks
The department of defense has been using Unity for a long time. As someone who worked at the U.S. Army using Unity, when I was there awhile ago, Unity was used for developing simulations to train groups of soldiers to use different kinds equipment and to understand battle scenarios. I did work for a trainer that taught people how to use an M777 Howitzer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M777_howitzer).

I get the ethical concerns Unity employees have had, but can't any development environment be potentially used for ethically gray purposes? Personally, I didn't see myself as directly sponsoring war, especially since all American taxpayers are contributing towards the defense budget. I saw my work as being part of an ecosystem that could help save soldiers' lives. Soldiers will need to go fight either way for defensive purposes and they need to be trained. If the training process can be more effective and efficient by using game-like simulations, why shouldn't it be? The simulations also end up saving a lot of money, because it's not necessary to waste gas or ammunition taking a tank or a heavy artillery piece out for demonstration use.

rejor121
In my humble opinion, I feel like many commenters here aren’t veterans or don’t understand how thin the line is between a stable and unstable world. Or simply don’t care to look deeper at why the USA military does what it does, along with the different three letter agencies.

Yeah, a lot of mistakes have been made. Many of them will continue to be made. The hope is that we still leave the world better off than it was before.

Inaction can lead to just as bad a result, if not worse, than taking an educated action at all. It’s simple to sit there behind the desk reading articles and history when you’re not one making the decisions, good or bad.

grenoire
Over the last month, we've been hearing more about Unity's business developments than its work on the core product itself.
lizardactivist
I associate the US flavor of "defense" with war, murder and racket more than actual defense or anything ethical. Who can blame me after seeing what they have done in the Middle East for the last 20 years?

It's a shame to see Unity supporting something like this just to increase their revenue.

colechristensen
A “multimillion” defense contract is about the bottom of the barrel for small defense contracts. Like maybe one or two programs with a few dozen people working on them for a year or two.
KineticLensman
Just to expand on '3D' a bit. The application here is likely battlefield simulation rather than content creation as with Blender. The simulation could be in novel areas where exiting sims don't have pre-existing libraries of assets (e.g. meshes, textures and behaviours for military platforms) and / or to allow access to third party products that are integrated with Unity, e.g. AR/VR headsets.

For traditional battlefield sim, Unity has hard competition from systems such as VBS that have extensive asset libraries and multiple training solutions delivered to western militaries over the last decade or so.

spandrew
Seems fine? I don't see the need here for additional litigation. We all mostly hate war. US Military isn't going away, nor are Russia or China as global power brokers. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Getting upset over this is akin to yelling at Xerox for selling their machines to the IRS because you got audited. Or because counterfeit currency can be produced. It's just a tool doing its (neutral) job. So long as we want our society to invent progressive tech this is the exhaust of it; people you don't like might use the tech.

JakeAl
They use Unity for a wide variety of purposes, including cyber-security and educational training in general. BE glad they are making jobs available for the thousands of kids graduating with Unity certification in an oversaturated game market. There's a huge demand for "Unity Engineers" (read: actual programmers who also know how to use a GUI/IDE like Unity).
KronisLV
> Unity has signed a lucrative contract with enterprise technology firm CACI that will see it become the "preferred real-time 3D platform" for future systems design and simulation programs across the U.S. government.

I know that some might dislike this on ethical grounds, but then again, I guess I couldn't really be opposed to something like Blender being used for 3D modelling for all sorts of domains, so my views of Unity shouldn't be that different, either. From a business perspective, that's just securing a lucrative deal for a high profile client.

That said, Unity still is one of the better options for 3D gamedev beginners: good workflows for assets and level design, lots of plugins and assets that are available, great platform support, good scripting with C# (performant enough AND reasonably easy to use), one of the best amounts of tutorials and guides available. Of course, the downsides are the instability of... pretty much everything in the last few years: the editor getting slower with each release and especially for large projects, VCS support with Git/LFS can be sub-optimal, URP/HDRP/legacy render pipeline split and problems with assets, DOTS being incomplete, multiple UI/input systems, new package management functionality and problems opening/upgrading 2-4 year old example projects, networking being deprecated and even the organization itself being a bit controversial.

If I wanted to make a game to sell without being skilled enough to grok Unreal, I'd probably still go for Unity. But personal projects? Godot. The open source nature allows me to dodge all of the above, even if something as basic as terrain support must come in the form of a 3rd party plugin in Godot and I probably wouldn't ship anything good anyways (at least until Godot 4 is stable with better 3D support and 5-10 years pass and there are enough assets to use as a crutch). Regardless, it seems to have reached enough of a critical mass to remain a viable option even in the future and get more love than something like Xenko/Stride (which I've mentioned before), or jMonkeyEngine (although that is lower level) and avoid situations like happened with Machinery altogether.

Back to Unity, though, I hope they stop implementing half baked functionality and spend 2-5 years fixing everything and working on consistency and stability instead. Which probably won't happen, much like in enterprise software rarely you get months/years to address all of the technical debt, but rather mostly keep implementing new features for direct business value.

hammyhavoc
Me: Give me Godot or give me death.

Unity: allow me.

sylware
ok, out-of-the-box glibc/linux dev support... but for defence... no source code? mmmmh....
seydor
No crisis go to waste
berry_sortoro
AreYouSirius
bannedbybros
cpursley
Shouldn't "defense" be in air-quotes?
fiat_fandango
Are they building the domestic IRS combat breaching simulator yet?
cryptica
I find these government contracts completely immoral. The government could easily hire skilled people directly for a fraction of the price. These are always really just about lining the pockets of execs.
sr.ht