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Unity signs "multi-million dollar" contract to help U.S. government with defense

The deal was announced less than a year after some workers questions Unity's ethics for working on military projects.

Unity has signed a lucrative contract with enterprise technology firm CACI that will see it become the "preferred real-time 3D platform" for future systems design and simulation programs across the U.S. government.

For context, CACI is a $6 billion company that works with the U.S. government on various defense initiatives. In 2022 alone, CACI has secured multiple multi-million dollar task orders to assist the U.S. Army in areas such as aerial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

The news is particularly notable given it comes less than a year after Unity employees began questioning the ethics of the company for working on military projects.

Speaking to Vice last year, a number of Unity developers said that some workers might be developing technology that is used for military purposes without realizing it, and called on the engine maker to be more transparent about its practices.

They also claimed that Unity had been actively pursuing government and military contracts as part of a "GovTech" intiative, which according to a public presentation from March 2021 would help "develop technologies across our products that helps the government adapt AI and machine learning"

In its latest financial report, Unity described its contract with CACI International as an "exciting" prospect.

"Unity was awarded an exciting three-year multi-million dollar contract to Advance the Development of Smart Human Machine Interfaces by CACI International," it wrote. "This win is the single largest Digital Twin Solutions deal for Unity to date and is a strategic deal that helps to solidify Unity as the preferred real-time 3D platform for future systems design and simulation programs across the U.S. Government."

The news comes days after marketing company AppLovin proposed a merger with Unity at a valuation of $20 billion. Crucially, that proposal would scupper Unity's current plans to merge with app monetization platform IronSource, which left some developers feeling burned.

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