Google partners with Unity to bring the game engine to Chrome OS

Google partners with Unity to bring the game engine to Chrome OS

Unity is one of the most popular game engines around, powering games on a wide range of hardware platforms and operating systems. Unity games created for Android (and published on the Play Store) can already run on most Chrome OS devices through the built-in Android runtime, but now Google and Unity are partnering to make the engine work better on Chromebooks.

Unity wrote in a blog post, “we’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Google to integrate Chrome OS into the Android developer environment. From Unity 2021.2 onward, you’ll be able to add Chrome OS functionality to your new and existing Android applications. We’ll be adding Chrome OS support to 2021.1 and 2020 LTS later this year. Unity will support Chrome OS devices that run on x86–x64, as well as Arm.”

The main news here is that Unity games can now be compiled for x86_64 Chromebooks, which hasn’t been available since Unity dropped support for x86 Android devices in 2019. Unity is also introducing the ability to override the default Chrome OS keyboard/mouse inputs with custom actions, which could help games on Chrome OS feel more like games on traditional desktops and laptops.

Developers can try out the new Chrome OS support by downloading the Unity 2021.2 beta. Unity is also working on bringing the functionality to 2021.1 and 2020 LTS.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.