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A guide to moving from internal game engine technology

Studios large and small are moving from using in-house technology to embracing external engines.

Why make the move, and how can you get it right?

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A new route to success for your team, your technology, your games and your business

  • Developers from some of the world’s most respected and experienced studios have shared insights on what motivated their teams to look beyond established in-house tech.
  • Learn from the best, including the studios who have produced titles as distinct and brilliant as Hearthstone, The Bridge, Grow Home, Plague Inc., and Hitman Go.
  • Come away with an informed understanding of whether it makes sense or not to move completely or partially away from your internal technology.

Table of contents

Executive summary

  • Inside this report
  • What you should get from this report


Chapter 1: Why move from custom?

  • Make games, not tools
  • Extending creative freedom
  • Achieving triple-A
  • Affordable and royalty-free
  • Development efficiency
  • Reaching more audiences
  • Community and support

Chapter 2: Integrating an external engine

  • Ramping up the team
  • Technical integration: Reusing code and assets
  • Technical integration: Rebuilding and porting

Chapter 3: ROI and other benefits

  • Time-to-market
  • Ramping up team productivity

Wrapping up

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"The most useful part of Unity, really, is the ease of use. It's so simple to develop a prototype very quickly, and that makes a huge difference for us."

Mario Lefebvre

Studio Tech Director, Hibernum Creations

"The motivation to move away from our internal technology was really about challenging some of the perceptions about big game development.”

Peter Young

Producer, Reflections

“Moving to Unity for mobile really helped us focus on crafting compelling experiences instead of spending critical time building engines.”

Martin Ruel

Technical Director, Square Enix

“A thing that was really great about Unity was that it had native support for a lot of the tools that our artists like to use – Photoshop and Maya.”

Jason Chayes

Production Director, Blizzard