Unity vs. Epic on the game engine battlefront with one thing in common: Mike Capps.

What? Scratching your head?

Mike Capps, the long-time president of Cary-based Epic Games who stepped down three years ago, is getting back in the game business. He’s signing on as an advisor to Unity Technologies, which happens to have its own game engine. So does Epic: Unreal, one of the industry’s most popular. So what’s he going to do exactly?

Well, first, if you aren’t familiar with Unity, here’s how the company touts itself:


“Unity is a flexible and powerful development platform for creating multiplatform 3D and 2D games and interactive experiences. It’s a complete ecosystem for anyone who aims to build a business on creating high-end content and connecting to their most loyal and enthusiastic players and customers.”

So what’s going on?

I’m very excited to announce that Dr. Mike Capps will be joining Unity Technologies as an advisor to me, our exec team and to our core R&D team,” wrote Unity CEO John Riccitiello in a blog.

“Many of you are familiar with Mike. He’s been one of the most important names in games and game technology for well over a decade. His knowledge and experience with engines is phenomenal and it’s incredible to have him on our team.”

Capps’ gigg is one week per month, according to Riccitiello.

His mission?

“He’s a very strong supporter of Unity’s core principles of solving hard problems so our developers don’t have to, and the movement to democratize game development. He’ll be a huge boon to us in Unity continuing down that path.”

Unity in “enviable” position

Capps, adding his thoughts in the same blog, noted:

“I’m excited to join the team as Advisor to the CEO, and I can’t wait to help shape Unity’s next chapter.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with John a few times over the years, and have always been impressed with his leadership and drive. He’d probably shy away from the word ‘mentor,’ but he always had the time to provide me with guidance when I asked.  When he took the helm of a game engine company, I finally had the chance to repay some of the great advice he’d given me over the years.”

Capps says he’s “so impressed with their excitement, optimism, and commitment to the democratization of game technology” and that Unity’s mission fits with his: “better tools, more easily available, will lead to more and better games.”

He describe’s Unity’s position as “enviable in the industry.”

“I see so much exciting potential, and opportunities where I might be able to help, that this role was a logical next step,”: Capps adds. “I’ll do my best to advise John and the leadership team to keep Unity’s tools driving innovation and creative self-expression in ways we can’t even imagine.”

On the other hand, who would have ever imagined Capps would be positioned as a rival to Epic?