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Microsoft to Buy SyntaxTree, Make Gaming Plugin Free

The UnityVS add-on allows Unity developers to work within Visual Studio.

In an effort to appeal more strongly to game developers, Microsoft is buying SyntaxTree, the creators of the UnityVS plugin.

S. Somasegar, Microsoft's corporate vice president of the developer division, announced the planned acquisition on his blog. UnityVS allows game developers to use the popular Unity cross-platform game engine within Visual Studio. Somasegar spelled out the reason for the buyout:

“With this acquisition, we have the opportunity to integrate this support for Unity even more deeply into Visual Studio, and to continue to push forward Visual Studio's support for game developers.”

Somasegar added that the current UnityVS plugin will be given away on the download site. Some of the advantages UnityVS offers include the ability to use Visual Studio's debugger; launch the debugger from within Visual Studio just by pressing F5; and the use of wizards, tool windows and code snippets.

UnityVS was previously a $99 plugin for the Personal edition, and $249 for Professional. Now it will be free to those who use Visual Studio Professional or higher. Currently, UnityVS supports versions of Visual Studio back to 2010, and the Microsoft-branded and integrated version will continue supporting back to that version.

As of Monday afternoon, the UnityVS plugin hadn't been made available on the download site. In the comments section of Somasegar's blog posting, Microsoft's John Montgomery said it's not quite ready yet. “As we transition the software from SyntaxTree to Microsoft there are some changes we want to make, mostly minor fix-ups to the license, logo, and so on to reflect the fact that UnityVS is now a Microsoft product.” He later hinted that it would likely be weeks, and not months, before the plugin was ready.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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