Free version of Unity game engine adds Windows 8-Windows Phone 8 support

It's been a long time coming, but one of the biggest names in game development has finally expanded its free software tools to include Windows 8, RT and Windows Phone 8 platforms. Unity3D announced today that Unity 4.2 adds support for these Microsoft platforms, along with BlackBerry 10. Unity previously released beta versions of its software for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 developers.

Unity's press release states:

In Unity 4.2, all users of the free version of Unity can publish to any mobile platform they wish, be it Windows Phone 8, Windows Store, iOS, Android or BlackBerry 10 without it costing a dime. In addition, Unity Pro users can use the Windows Store Pro deployment option (which includes the Windows Phone 8 and Windows Store apps platforms) absolutely free of charge.

The Unity game engine is one of the most popular to use, especially for small game developers since much of the Unity tools are free to download and use. Indeed, with the release of Unity 4.2, the company has added three features from its paid Unity Pro engine to the free edition: Real-time shadows, text-based serialization and NavMesh baking.

Unity and Microsoft have already announced that it will offer free access to Unity tools for developers who make Xbox 360, and Xbox One games that are published with Microsoft Studios.

Source: Unity | Image via Unity

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So not being familiar with the tools, does this mean that all devs that have games and apps made with unity can simply 'flick a switch' and publish those games and apps to Rt and wp8? If so are we talking about a lot of decent apps and games? If so then this is very good!

It's not that simple, because all platforms have specific things to look on, like the back button on Android and WP, or the Notification Center on Android and iOS. You need to make sure your game interferes (or doesn't) with those specific habits. But, it's rather easy to make a game for many platforms with one single engine.

Not trolling. For example, Temple Run 2 is made with Unity, for easy development and deployment on Android and iOS. Finally it will be coming on Windows Phone!