Early this month, Microsoft confirmed that it will lay off 10,000 employees through the end of FY23 Q3. Several teams including hardware and game studios were affected by this announcement. As part of the layoffs, Microsoft has laid off the entire Mixed Reality Toolkit (MRTK) team. MRTK is an open-source project to accelerate cross-platform mixed reality development in Unity. This is built on top of Unity’s XR Management system and XR Interaction Toolkit.
Microsoft was expected to ship the MRTK3 GA build in February, but unfortunately the team got laid off. Despite the layoffs, the MRTK team has delivered the MRTK3 Preview 14 Release. This build includes several bug fixes and improvements. You can find the full change log from the source link below.
Also, the MRTK team mentioned that they will soon share more information on the future of MRTK.
“In light of recent news and events, we’re aware the community has a lot of questions regarding the future of MRTK. We’ll be making an announcement as soon as we can, and I want to personally assure everyone that the dream, ideals, and vision of MRTK lives on throughout the XR industry. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the beautiful and inspiring collaboration between the open source community, the MRTK team, and the wider XR industry. We are forever in your debt, and we thank you for helping us make the future of spatial computing more open, friendly, usable, and inspiring to all,” wrote Finn Sinclair from MRTK team.
Since MRTK is already licensed under MIT license, we expect the open source community to take forward the development of MRTK along with support from active XR industry players including Qualcomm, Unity and others.