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Makers of Unity Engine take major stance against ‘Muslim ban’

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Supporting affected developers, donation-matching and more

Protestors In Seattle Rally Against Trump's Muslim Immigration Ban Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Unity Technologies, the company behind the popular Unity game engine, has come out in opposition of the controversial “Muslim ban.” In an email circulated among staffers, CEO John Riccitiello outlined the company’s plans to support developers industry members impacted by the new travel restrictions placed on many Middle Eastern nationals.

Unity will match employee donations up to $1,000 to nonprofits like the American Civil Liberties Union, which have become major players in the fight to repeal the executive order. Numerous developers and game companies have given to the ACLU since the immigration ban was put in place earlier this month, and Riccitiello told employees that the decision to join in was meant to be empowering.

“You might choose to donate to a group like the ACLU if you want to donate to a group that is on the front line of fighting the discrimination in the Trump action,” he wrote. “Unity is about empowerment and it is your choice.”

Unity’s efforts to combat the travel restrictions go beyond company walls, however. The company’s annual Unite Europe conference, which will be held in Amsterdam later this year, will encourage developers from the seven countries named in Trump’s executive order to attend. All seven have heavily Muslim populations, despite the president’s insistence that the ban is meant only to protect Americans from the threat of terrorism. That’s led many critics to call it out as prejudiced.

Passes to the developer-focused event can be costly, but Unity will sponsor at least 50 people from the affected nations, fronting their costs. A representative for Unity told Polygon that it will have more information “soon” for qualified developers interested in applying for sponsorship.

“The message is clear,” Riccitiello wrote. “Developers, no matter their country or religion, are welcome with Unity.”

The full text of the letter can be found below. It’s an outspoken piece against an order that has generated widespread response and faced legal opposition from day one. We recently delved into the ramifications of the “Muslim ban” on the gaming industry, speaking to members who have not minced words about what is seen as a major act of discrimination.