ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Game Engines at DevSummit 2023

DevSummit 2023 is right around the corner and the Game Engine Maps SDK team is excited to hear about your work, discuss opportunities, and share details about what we’ve been working on. Between Tuesday, March 7th and Friday, March 10th, we’ll be hosting technical sessions, demo theaters, and more.

To help you plan your time at DevSummit, below you’ll find a list of the opportunities to learn about the ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Unity and Unreal Engine, to discover industry topics and other Esri products that enhance their use, to engage with the development team, to get answers to your questions, and to give us your feedback.

Planning your schedule

Primary sessions

We have two primary sessions dedicated to the ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Unity and Unreal Engine (Game Engine Maps SDKs). The first session is an introductory session that will provide an overview of the Game Engine Maps SDKs, discuss the latest releases, and present a roadmap for the future. If you’re new to the Game Engine Maps SDKs or need to evaluate whether these SDKs are the right tool for your project, then this session is for you. The second session covers advanced topics in developing solutions with our Game Engine SDKs. If you need insights into advanced techniques to make your scenes and data come to life in a game engine, attend this session.

ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Game Engines: Building Apps

Thursday, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

This session will present capabilities of the ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Unity and Unreal Engine, discuss the architecture of these game engine plug-ins, and present the goals and roadmap for these new developer products. 

ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Game Engines: Advanced Workflows

Thursday, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

This session will demonstrate techniques for developers to enhance application experiences built with the ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Unity and Unreal Engine. This includes optimizing visualization of ArcGIS data sources, enabling access to geospatial analysis, using special effects and physics in game engines, building XR experiences, and much more.

Demo Theaters

Combining ArcGIS with game engines can bring your scenes to life.  The following demo theaters showcase this key benefit by integrating real-time information with real-world data and enabling immersive VR experiences with our Game Engine Maps SDKs:

ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Game Engines: Visualizing Real-time GIS Data in 3D Applications

Tuesday, 4:45pm – 5:15pm

ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Game Engines: Developing Immersive VR Applications

Tuesday, 5:30pm – 6:00pm

Topical sessions

Integrating real-world data from ArcGIS with the power of game engines will enable developers to deliver the next generation of 3D solutions.   This integration will be pivotal in driving immersive experiences with digital twins across industries at a global scale.   The following sessions cover two topics driving conversations about converging the digital and physical world today: the Metaverse and extended reality.

Geospatial in the Metaverse

Wednesday, 5:30pm – 6:30pm

Game engines are known for delivering a premium rendering experience and include systems to simulate the interaction and movement of real-life, so they are pivotal to delivering next generation 3D solutions with real-world data.  These benefits can be applied to many topics, including the Metaverse, covered in the first session listed below. While the Metaverse has become a bit of a buzzword, the underlying idea and effort is still important. From a GIS perspective it can be considered an immersive and interactive digital twin of reality – more specifically, a digital twin of the real world. Interestingly, Esri has been working in this space for years, delivering software and services to manage, maintain, and deliver geospatial data and analytics to power experiences with digital representations (ie twins) of the real world.  Conversations around the Metaverse are helping drive a broader understanding of global digital representations of the real world.   Attend this session if you’d like to discover how Esri is a key part of this conversation.

Extended Reality (XR) in ArcGIS

Thursday, 10:30am – 11:30am

Extended reality (XR) is a comprehensive term for technologies that enhance or replace our view of the world. XR includes virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR). VR immerses a user into a fully digital world. AR adds digital content to enrich a user’s view of the physical world. MR is a more immersive extension of AR that adds interactive digital content to a user’s natural field of view of the physical world. Game engines are uniquely qualified to deliver applications that support the responsiveness, frame rates, and fidelity needed to power XR experiences.  Attend this session to discover the value of extended reality (XR) in real-world scenarios and how Esri technology supports XR experiences.

CityEngine sessions

ArcGIS CityEngine is advanced 3D modeling software for creating urban environments. It includes tools to generate and render 3D data as well create and improve assets and models used in high-end 3D visualizations across ArcGIS system. While the following sessions do not cover the Game Engine Maps SDKs specifically, the technology and workflows presented can be used to generate and enrich 3D data and assets for use with the Game Engine Maps SDKs.

Procedural 3D Content with ArcGIS

Thursday, 5:30pm – 6:30pm

Game Engine Workflows with ArcGIS CityEngine

Friday, 8:30am – 9:30am

Esri Showcase

Maps SDK team members will be available at the Esri Showcasewhich runs from Monday afternoon through Thursday afternoon, and we have a dedicated area for each Game Engine Maps SDK. Stop by to ask specific questions, to learn more about the Maps SDKs, and to show us what you’ve built or are building. This is your chance to meet the people that build the technology you use, and we love learning about how the Game Engine Maps SDKs are working for you.

Meet the Teams

Team members will also be attending the Meet the Teams social after the showcase hours end on Tuesday. Drinks and food will be served.

Tuesday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Code Reviews

In 2019 we introduced the Developer Clinic to assist customers with strategic questions about development projects and solutions that involve many parts of the ArcGIS system. This was incredibly successful and so we’re continuing to support it this year through Code Reviews, which you can schedule here. With the choice between the Game Engine Maps SDKs area at the Esri Showcase and scheduling a Code Review, you might be wondering which option is right for you…

See you in Palm Springs!

As you can see, between the technical sessions, demo theaters, code reviews, and Esri showcase, there will be many opportunities to learn more about the ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Unity and Unreal Engine from the very people building them. We hope you can make it and we’re looking forward to seeing you at the 2023 Dev Summit!

About the authors

Rex Hansen is a Product Manager for the ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Native Apps and ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Game Engines. He has over 25 years of experience in GIS, spatial analytics, and computer mapping. Currently, he guides the development of native technologies in the GIS industry to use authoritative geospatial content and analysis in offline workflows, photorealistic experiences, and immersive, extended reality solutions.


Mike Branscomb is a Product Manager for the ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Native Apps and ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Game Engines. With over 20 years of experience working in the Esri ecosystem, he specializes in .NET, Local Server, and 3D Scene Layers. Mike is also a Scrum Product Owner with over 10 years of experience guiding teams through the product development lifecycle.


Nick Furness is a Product Manager for the ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Native Apps, and ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Game Engines, specializing in Swift and iOS. He's spent over 25 years working in the GIS space building projects ranging from small mom-and-pop solutions all the way up to enterprise utility and national government deployments. Nick presents at various Esri Developer Summits, the User Conference, and many other events, almost always talking about something to do with the Native Maps SDKs (although you might find the odd bit of JavaScript thrown in there).


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