One of the major reasons for the growth of the Tizen store in recent times has been the huge increase in indie apps. A majority of these apps happen to be games developed on the popular game engine Unity. Unity added support for the Tizen mobile platform back in August 2015 and since then it has been a major contributor to the development of the Tizen mobile platform as we see today. Over the past two years, we have seen Samsung partnering with Unity to promote Tizen game development through incentive programs and contests. Unity’s support for Tizen was also the reason for some of the popular mobile game titles from Android and iOS which were built on the game engine making their way to Tizen platform.
Now, Unity has officially dropped support for the Tizen mobile platform in its latest beta release 2017.3.0b6 along with Samsung TV platform as well (which also runs on Tizen). Although Tizen developers can continue building games for the Tizen mobile platform using older Unity versions, no more new features that Unity would be adding down the line can be taken advantage of on Tizen smartphones.
We reached out to Unity’s PR to get an official word on how the situation stands. The PR person mentioned that Unity will continue to support Tizen platform for twelve months post the release of version 2017.2 which happened to release on the 10th of October. So the official support from Unity’s end with respect to patches and bug fixes related for the Tizen platform will be closed from October 2018. Meanwhile the PR person also mentioned that Unity will be shifting focus to platform where its community is more activity and added that the Samsung GearVR happens to be one of those platform.
A blog post was issued by Unity stating: “Unity 2017.2 will be the last version to support Samsung Tizen and SmartTV. Following this release, Unity will provide 12-months of support, including patches and security updates. To get the latest info on Tizen and SmartTV for Unity, visit the partner page for Samsung.” – There is no further Information on the Partner Page. However, on the companies official forum there is a post that states “… the support for Tizen and SamsungTV has been removed from 2017.3 as the licenses we had with them expire later this year.”
Samsung certainly has the power and resources to bring back Unity support for Tizen in the future builds but we for one wish that those resources would be used for making better Tizen smartphones instead.