Unity Technologies will soon extend its cross-platform game development tools with an open beta trial targeting the BlackBerry 10 OS. It is inviting developers to register now to be among the first to get access.
Unity's tools can be used to create games simultaneously for a number of different platforms, including smartphones, PCs and game consoles. The open beta version of Unity's Blackberry add-on will become available later this Spring, the company said in a blog post.
Developers will be able to create new applications for BlackBerry 10 with the same tools and workflow they use to develop games for iOS and Android. They will also be able to take existing applications and publish them to the new operating system. The games will work on the Z10 and the Q10 smartphones, and once BlackBerry releases BlackBerry 10 for Playbook, developers will also be able to develop applications for the tablet using Unity's tools. (See also "BlackBerry Z10 and the BB10 OS: The early reviews are in.")
Unity will hand out a trial license key to all registered beta test participants that will unlock BlackBerry platform support in the Unity toolset for two months. However, any project deployed with a trial license will be watermarked and is not meant for commercial release, according to the blog post. The company recommends that only intermediate and advanced Unity users sign up, while new users to should wait to develop using Unity for BlackBerry until after the public commercial release, it said.
The availability of applications is key to the success of any smartphone operating system. Cross-platform tools are especially important to ones with less market share, like Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10, because they lower the bar for developers who would otherwise focus on creating apps for Android and iOS.
Unity is working on adding support for Windows Phone 8, as well.