The Unity graphics engine is an old acquaintance to most gamers. But what many gamers don’t know is that, in addition to boosting games like Ori, Cuphead and Pillars of Eternity, Unity is also being used by the US military in contracts with the US Department of Defense. And the developers behind the engine are unhappy about it.
The information appeared in an extensive report by Vice, which had access to several employees of Unity Technologies, the company behind Unity. While remaining anonymous, several of these workers commented that they are having ethical objections to Unity’s contracts with the US military.
The biggest complaint among most employees is that they can’t tell if their job will fit the military or not. Unity has a specific division for this called GovTech, but the nature of development within the company makes the work of developers in different divisions appear in others.
Unity Technologies even seems to know that developing military technologies is a sensitive issue. Vice had access to a “communication protocol” document for the projects of the GovTech division. In this supposedly official document, ways of communicating about Defense Department contracts are specified, including recommending the use of terms such as “government” or “defence” rather than “military.”
“It should be very clear when people are getting into the military initiative part of Unity,” one of the sources said.