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Unity 3D game kit opens digital tool store

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Unity Technologies has added a "digital asset store" to its cross-platform games development kit, offering a marketplace where developers can buy, sell, and trade digital doohickies, including script libraries, 3D models, workflows, and tutorials.

The store was opened this morning at the company's fourth annual developer conference in Montreal, as the company unveiled version 3.1 of the Unity kit. The Unity 3D game development kit boasts more than 250,000 registered users, and it's now free from the spectre of Steve Jobs' iPhone code translation ban.

Unity lets you code games and other 3D apps not only for the iPhone and the iPad but also for Android devices, Macs, PCs, the Wii, Xbox 360, the PlayStation, and the web (via its own browser plug-in). Android support debuted this fall with the release of version 3.

Unity CEO and co-founder David Helgason tells The Reg that the new asset store is designed to "democratize the scale of a big company" – i.e. give small developers access to the sort of a game development library that's typically reserved for much larger outfits.

He says the store will be "slightly" curated in order to avoid any copyright infringement issues. But for the most part, this is an open marketplace. Assets can be traded for free or they can be bought and sold at a price.

The store is open now, and it can be assessed from within the Unity kit. If you would like to start selling assets, write to assetstore@unity3d.com.

On Wednesday, Unity also unveiled a business unit – known as Union – designed to help Unity-built games reach a broader audience. It's meant to bring Unity to new platforms, new devices and new channels. Helgason tells us it will provide a way for smaller developers to come together to encourage platform and device vendors to embrace their games. Basically, the Union will provide a single point of contact for vendors to sign-up for a wide array of Unity games. ®

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