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Kinectimals using Unity engine? Not likely.

Kinectimals - Aww, how cute!

Earlier this week, various blogs picked up on a tweet alluding to the use of the Unity game engine in the cute and fuzzy Kinectimals title for Windows Phone. This comes after Unity Technologies CEO David Helgason came out and said, in November, that the company was “skipping” Windows Phone 7, looking forward instead to its successor – Windows Phone 8.

The rumor floating around has two main components to it:

  • The Kinectimals XAP contains a library (UnityEngine.dll) that contains the word Unity.
  • The UnityEngine.dll has classes that look like Unity code.

While the Kinectimals XAP does contain a library named UnityEngine, we couldn’t verify this library was in any way related to Unity Technologies’ game engine. In fact, we found evidence to the contrary:

  • The library contains .NET metadata indicating copyright belongs to the development shop Frontier Developments Ltd., not Unity Technologies as expected.
  • Frontier Developments Ltd. specializes in cross-platform technology. We believe the UnityEngine references are merely artifacts from recycling their code targeting iOS and other platforms.
  • The game doesn’t use any native code. As we’ve seen from a number of applications on the Marketplace, Windows Phone can run native code. It doesn’t make sense that Unity’s game engine would be ported in whole to a pure XNA solution for cost and performance reasons.

Regardless, we simply don’t have enough information to say one way or the other. We'll follow up when we hear more from the developers next week.

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