Blender is an open source, free computer graphics software, used mostly for animation and 3D art. But while Blender has a built in game engine for game development, it’s not often thought of for creating full video games by itself. Sitting next to game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine, often Blender won’t be able to stand up to these other, more powerful and widely used engines.
An overlooked, powerful tool.
Engines like Unity are extremely popular in game development, especially with indie developers. Blender is increasingly popular with the modeling and animation community. It’s often used to create models for Unity game development, and has recently been getting more attention from professionals. A movie called “Next Gen” is coming out on Netflix. It was made with Blender as the main tool. But Blender is not often considered for serious game development. It wasn’t first developed to be a game engine, it was developed as a tool for 3D art. Of course, it’s evolved since then, but this is probably a reason for it being overlooked.
Accessible, yet still limited.
One other big piece that I think makes people shift away from Blender is that you don’t really need any coding knowledge to make a game with it, it’s all node based. Because of this, it might cause dispiriting in users who expect it to be like most other game engines using code, not nodes. This issue is probably what makes most people choose Unity, because Blender is much more limited than Unity’s C# scripting. In a nutshell, Blender is easier to learn and use but limited in what it can accomplish on its own, and Unity is a stronger engine overall, but much harder to learn.
But it’s growing fast.
Blender is developing fast. It may not be fabulous at making games now, but it looks like Blender’s improving more and more. Armory 3D is a recent add-on that turns Blender into “a complete game development kit.” And it doesn’t sacrifice the node-based ease that Blender provides. In fact, it improves on it. Armory allows for scripting, so it’s not limited to just nodes like standalone Blender. This was made possible because Blender is open source, it gives creators the ability to build off of it and make it better. I think this is Blender’s greatest asset against bigger game engines; it may not be the best engine now, but the possibilities are so much greater than Unity or Unreal Engine. Blender’s biggest asset is its development team: that being the entire Blender community.