Visual Studio for Game Development: New Partnerships with Unity, Unreal Engine and Cocos2d

Game developers build the apps that hundreds of millions of users play every day across a wide variety of devices, from Xbox and Windows to iOS, Android, and the Web. For many years now, it’s been great to see Visual Studio be one of the industry’s most popular tools for game development, used by big game studios and indie developers alike.

Today, we are taking support for game development in Visual Studio forward in a big way through collaborations with three of the premier independent gaming engine providers: Unity Technologies, Epic Games, and Chukong Technologies.

Together, we are making it even easier for game developers to use the rich capabilities of the Visual Studio IDE to develop games for today’s most popular platforms. Each of these top gaming engines' installers will now offer the ability to co-install Visual Studio Community on Windows, along with the plug-ins required for Windows developers building for these engines. In addition, we will make it easier to discover and use the tools for Unity, Unreal and Cocos2d from within Visual Studio 2015.

You can learn more about today’s partnerships on the Unity, Unreal, Cocos2d and Visual Studio sites.

These improvements build upon joint work to make access to the engines and tools needed for game development available to a broader base of developers. With Visual Studio Community, we have made the popular IDE that professional developers use freely available for non-enterprise usage. And across Unity 5 Personal Edition, Unreal Engine 4, and Cocos2d, there are now great free options for these game engines.

Already today, Visual Studio offers Visual Studio Tools for Unity, a free Visual Studio add-on that enables a rich programming and debugging experience for working with the Unity gaming tools and platform. With today’s announcements, we are excited to expand Visual Studio’s game development capabilities and overall experience with even tighter integration with Unity and new support for Unreal Engine 4 and Cocos2d.

Each of these engines supports a broad array of today’s most popular gaming platforms, and through their cross-platform game development frameworks, expand on the existing cross-platform mobile development support in Visual Studio for Cordova (HTML), Xamarin (C#) and C++. Here’s just a sampling of the platforms supported by these three frameworks:

  • Cocos2d supports web browsers and native platforms including OS X, Windows, iOS and Android.
  • Unity supports 21 different platforms, including Xbox One, SteamOS, OS X, iOS, Android, Windows, WebGL, Oculus Rift and GearVR.
  • Unreal Engine 4 enables developers to deploy projects across platforms including Windows, Xbox One, Playstation 4, OS X, iOS, Android, Linux, SteamOS, HTML5 as well as Steam VR, Oculus Rift and Gear VR.

I am excited to join forces with these game engines in targeting today’s most popular devices and platforms for both 2D and 3D gaming. Together, we will be working to deliver the best possible game development experiences to users of these engines from within the Visual Studio IDE, further unlocking game developer creativity and productivity. 

While we work on the tighter integration, you can download Visual Studio Community and get Unity, Unreal and Cocos2d for game development today.


Comments (33)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Note that Unreal doesn't support Windows phone, so choose carefully for full cross platform support (the other two support all mobile platforms).

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why Cocos2d? Why not CocosSharp? This just doesn't make any sense. 😀

  3. Mjummie says:


    Great news.

    But it's weird not to see Windows Phone mentioned in the bulleted list.

    I'm sticking to Unity + VS CE + VST for Unity.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Does this include the Express editions of VS?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Saw this coming. Games are the future!!

    ~ Namaste

  6. Ahmed Gamall says:

    WOoW 😀 Visual Studio Will Be Available for Game Development

    Now everything available for us for FREE  

    #Microsoft #Partnership #VS #GD #Support

  7. S.Somasegar says:

    @filip – You can use CocosSharp in Visual Studio as part of Xamarin, which already has similar integration with Visual Studio.

  8. S.Somasegar says:

    @Arjuna – This is available in Community, not Express.  Community is also free for non-enterprise development.

  9. S.Somasegar says:

    @Mjummie – In the list of platforms in the blog post, "Windows" was used to refer to the Windows and Windows Phone platforms generally, though you are right that there is some difference in support between the various engines.  You can see the full list of supported platforms on the engines' sites.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Does this work with professional versions of visual studio?

  11. S.Somasegar says:

    @Rico – Yes, you can use these tools along with the professional editions of Visual Studio as well.  

  12. Anonymous says:

    @Somasegar I know that. That's why it doesn't make sense to partner with Cocos2D. It's pretty much the same stuff. Why didn't you choose something different?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Visual Studio >>> Monodevelop

  14. @filip – There are many developers who are using Cocos2d via C++ and other languages – Visual Studio can be a great development environment for all of these developers.

  15. SanketRJDave says:

    Good News for Game Developers 🙂 Thanks to Microsoft.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is going to be amazing. I wonder what tools the are using for the integration process? Or are they even that far in their methodology phase. They probably are if they are using Agile… This is going to be fun.. I need to clear some space on my Laptop!  

    – Ray Mulligan Jr.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thanks For microsoft thanks for support

  18. Anonymous says:

    No need for windows phone OS — a microsoft's true goal is to make a full windows OS run on the phone — WP is just a stalling tactic.

  19. atch666 says:

    S. Somasegar

    Could you please be more specific with regards to supporting game dev with UE4? What changes in VS 2015 that makes it different to work with UE4 and VS2013?

  20. Anonymous says:

    From a UE4 developer…Nice !!

  21. Anonymous says:


  22. atch666 says:


    So water in mouth, huh? Basically nothing special in VS which would indicate that VS2015 is catered is some special, even minor way to work with UE4.

    Basically what you saying is, that you want people to use VS2015 with UE4, but don't say why they should. On top of that you are well aware of all the criticisms VS2010/VS2012/VS2013 received from virtually everyone except people who code in C# and you are giving VS for free now just so people will not stop using it completely.

    Great behavior Somasegar, exactly the behavior I've expected.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Any one knows will it be able to code for Unreal Engine in C#?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Good News for Game Developers 🙂 Thanks to Microsoft.

  25. atch666 says:


    Good manners require to reply to a question, so do you mind replying to question I've asked?

  26. S.Somasegar says:

    @atch666 – VS2015 will make it easier for developers to discover and use the UE4 engine. We're also doing a lot of work to make UE4 developers even more productive using the new C++ compiler and C++ productivity feature improvements in VS2015.

    For example, the VS2015 C++ speeds up incremental build which is a common operation when working with large game projects, such as UE4 games. More details here:…/speeding-up-the-incremental-developer-scenario-with-visual-studio-2015.aspx.

    We've also made VS2015 significantly faster for C++ intelliSense/browsing features in large codebases. We used UE4 engine code itself as the benchmark, and we saw a huge performance improvement when browsing More details here:…/vs-2013-update-4-ctp-1-is-live.aspx.

  27. atch666 says:


    Hi, thank you for your reply, but:

    Neither incremental build, nor VS2015 being significantly faster for C++ intelliSense/browsing is *specific* to *only* UE4. It is general improvement which applies to every application, and they were made so Visual Studio can actually cope with UE4.

    So let me ask you again, and this time please be specific to only UE4.

    Which features in VS2015 are specifically crafted for UE4 and UE4 only.

    And again, please don't leave that question unanswered.

  28. atch666 says:


    I'm sorry but is that the way professional discussion is conducted where you come from? Somebody asks you difficult question and you are either giving them misleading information or not replying at all?

    Simply unbelievable that in this day and age someone on your position behaves like that

  29. @atch666 – The tooling specific to only Unreal is part of the UnrealVS extension from Unreal.  We will be making it easier to discover and use those tools within Visual Studio.  And we will be adding enhancements to various core parts of Visual Studio that Unreal developers depend upon (most importantly the C++ compiler and tooling improvements mentioned previously).

  30. atch666 says:

    @Luke Hoban

    Thank you for your reply.

    But that basically confirms what I've said.

    What you *really* doing is, you are improving VS to the point where VS is actually usable with UE4 so you don't loose market to other IDE.


  31. Anonymous says:

    Keep up the good work Microsoft glad to see more improvements with popular engines, as well as the development of the new Direct X for Windows 10!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Will these work with VB or do I have to learn C++  / other languages

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