Unity Technologies has hired Brett Seyler, who oversaw Torque engine development for InstantAction and GarageGames, to serve as its VP of strategy. After Brett Seyler announced that he was leaving TorquePowered (former GarageGames), nobody thought he was leaving for a direct competitor.
In the torrent of comments following his blog, Brett indicated indirectly that he already had a next challenge in mind, but he didn’t specify. It was assumed throughout the Torque community that he would follow in the footsteps of his former GarageGames colleagues now at Pushbutton Labs. That company was founded by the former GarageGames owners, after the sale to Interactive corp. In fact, it was at that time that Brett took over daily operations at GarageGames.
The move to Unity3d is both a surprise and a logical step. TorquePowered is part of InstantAction, a service that aims to bring 3D games to the browser. That is precisely one of the strong points of the Unity3D engine at the moment, along with a large user base developing on the iPhone platform.
During Brett’s stay at GarageGames, the Torque engine has undergone many changes, some of which controversial. The price hike was widely debated, and might have caused GarageGames to lose some fans, but it was a bold move that was needed to keep up the development speed. In the very competitive 3D engine market, and especially in fast-changing environments like iPhone and browser, your ability to adapt to the environment is crucial.
I have good hopes that Unity will be able to surprise us in the near future, in a positive sense.