Visual Studio for Game Development: New Partnerships with Unity, Unreal Engine and Cocos2d

Game developers build the apps that hundreds of millions of users play every day across a wide variety of devices, from Xbox and Windows to iOS, Android, and the Web. For many years now, it’s been great to see Visual Studio be one of the industry’s most popular tools for game development, used by big game studios and indie developers alike.

Today, we are taking support for game development in Visual Studio forward in a big way through collaborations with three of the premier independent gaming engine providers: Unity Technologies, Epic Games, and Chukong Technologies.

Together, we are making it even easier for game developers to use the rich capabilities of the Visual Studio IDE to develop games for today’s most popular platforms. Each of these top gaming engines' installers will now offer the ability to co-install Visual Studio Community on Windows, along with the plug-ins required for Windows developers building for these engines. In addition, we will make it easier to discover and use the tools for Unity, Unreal and Cocos2d from within Visual Studio 2015.

You can learn more about today’s partnerships on the Unity, Unreal, Cocos2d and Visual Studio sites.

These improvements build upon joint work to make access to the engines and tools needed for game development available to a broader base of developers. With Visual Studio Community, we have made the popular IDE that professional developers use freely available for non-enterprise usage. And across Unity 5 Personal Edition, Unreal Engine 4, and Cocos2d, there are now great free options for these game engines.

Already today, Visual Studio offers Visual Studio Tools for Unity, a free Visual Studio add-on that enables a rich programming and debugging experience for working with the Unity gaming tools and platform. With today’s announcements, we are excited to expand Visual Studio’s game development capabilities and overall experience with even tighter integration with Unity and new support for Unreal Engine 4 and Cocos2d.

Each of these engines supports a broad array of today’s most popular gaming platforms, and through their cross-platform game development frameworks, expand on the existing cross-platform mobile development support in Visual Studio for Cordova (HTML), Xamarin (C#) and C++. Here’s just a sampling of the platforms supported by these three frameworks:

  • Cocos2d supports web browsers and native platforms including OS X, Windows, iOS and Android.
  • Unity supports 21 different platforms, including Xbox One, SteamOS, OS X, iOS, Android, Windows, WebGL, Oculus Rift and GearVR.
  • Unreal Engine 4 enables developers to deploy projects across platforms including Windows, Xbox One, Playstation 4, OS X, iOS, Android, Linux, SteamOS, HTML5 as well as Steam VR, Oculus Rift and Gear VR.

I am excited to join forces with these game engines in targeting today’s most popular devices and platforms for both 2D and 3D gaming. Together, we will be working to deliver the best possible game development experiences to users of these engines from within the Visual Studio IDE, further unlocking game developer creativity and productivity. 

While we work on the tighter integration, you can download Visual Studio Community and get Unity, Unreal and Cocos2d for game development today.