Unity acquires cross-platform game voice and text chat service, Vivox

Unity Technologies has acquired the cross-platform game voice and text chat service, Vivox, for an undisclosed sum.

According to a press statement prepared by Unity, Vivox is "the 3D positional talk and text communication tool powering chat in games like Fortnite, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and League of Legends" and has been integrated into more than 125 games worldwide, with 100 million monthly active users. As "the latest part of Unity’s broad range of services for developers", Unity Technologies acquisition will make it "easier and faster to create connected games and experiences for all developers" whether on mobile, PC, or console.

Vivox will become a wholly owned subsidiary and continue to operate independently, offering cross-platform communication services. The entire Vivox team will be joining Unity – including founder & CEO, Rob Seaver – and will remain headquartered in Massachusetts, U.S.A.

"It has always been our mission to provide game developers the easiest communications services for their games, regardless of platform, scale, or size," Seaver said. "Unity touches more than 3 billion devices worldwide and over half of all mobile games are made on Unity, which means our partnership gives developers across the globe an easy entry point into building the creation of their dreams. We’re thrilled to become part of the Unity team."

"Vivox and Unity share a common mission: to empower creators and developers with the most powerful and accessible tools and services," added John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity Technologies. "The ability for gamers to speak to each other, in real-time, is a requirement in connected games because players want to enjoy great moments together. With Vivox part of Unity, we’re excited to work with the team to make connected communications a seamless integration for devs and develop a future roadmap that takes in-game communications to exciting new places."

Earlier this week Unity announced Unity Playground, a new project designed to encourage children and their teachers to explore "the joy of making and playing games" with a simplified form of the software. The Simplified Inspectors for both Playground scripts and its built-in components have been designed to ensure new users "will not be overwhelmed by the complexity of the UI", and users can switch between the simple version and the full Unity editor.

"Unity Playground removes the need to code by providing an array of one-task Components that are easy to use and mix," Unity said. "By combining them together, you can create physics-based 2D games spanning several game genres. Define your game rules. Build a character controller. Lay down a colourful scene and its collisions, and define YOUR winning conditions. You can make games for one or two players."

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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