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EA Announces Multi-Title Unreal Engine 3 License 54

Posted by Zonk
from the hope-that-goes-well dept.
An anonymous reader writes to mention a Gamasutra article about a surprising announcement from EA. They've made the move to license the Unreal 3 Engine for a series of next-generation titles. "The brief announcement states that EA 'employs a variety of engines, tools and technologies to best serve the needs of each game and development team', but raises interesting issues regarding the Criterion-authored Renderware engine, purchased by EA in 2004 alongside the Burnout developer, and its intended global EA rollout."
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EA Announces Multi-Title Unreal Engine 3 License

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  • Cool. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Antony.S (813668)
    (well, someone had to reply eventually)
    • I'm starting to wonder about that Unreal 3 engine. I mean, its being made out to be this super engine that can do ANYTHING. We're seeing everything from FPS to RPG to EDUTAINMENT titles popping up all using it.

      I know that if anyone can make a game engine its their engineers, but do you suppose it's really THAT robust?
      • by Antony.S (813668)
        Well UT2004 (UE 2.5) had lots of great mods so its possible, I trust Atari a lot more than id after the disaster that is D3/Q4
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 20, 2006 @10:57AM (#15944043)
    There used to be a time where your engine defined what you could do in a game, and the engine you choose would have a massive impact on the quality of game you could produce; I think these days are long gone. If you discount certain cutting edge graphical techniques, there are few (gameplay modifying) features that are implemented in the Unreal 3/Doom 3 engines that could not be done in an open source engine written in Java.

    Personally, I think that it is time that someone focuses on generating an open source java framework that is designed around splitting a game engine into its smaller components (Graphics, Physics, Scripting and AI); this would allow for smaller (more focused) open source projects to exist which (should) produce higher quality results.
    • by Tim C (15259)
      Do you mean something like this [lwjgl.org]?
    • by LetterRip (30937)
      "Personally, I think that it is time that someone focuses on generating an open source java framework that is designed around splitting a game engine into its smaller components (Graphics, Physics, Scripting and AI); this would allow for smaller (more focused) open source projects to exist which (should) produce higher quality results."

      There are good opensource component C++ frameworks - there is Ogre 3D for graphics (or Crystalspace 3D); Bullet engine for physics (or ODE); Python for Scripting (Or Ruby; Or
      • by 2megs (8751)
        Python for Scripting (Or Ruby; Or Lua)

        I worked as the lead programmer on a game [vampirebloodlines.com] that used Python for scripting, at a company where another team [atari.com] was also using Python for scripting. From a bugcount and quality-assurance perspective, Python worked out very badly for both games.

        The dynamic nature of the language bit us in the ass over and over and over. Suppose early in the game, based on what someone does, there's a script that states:

        globalFlags.killedRedDragon = true;

        On a quest much later in the game, there
    • by donscarletti (569232) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @11:27AM (#15944125)
      Ok, component based open souce game infructure, that would be really good. But where the hell did that Java idea come from? Java isn't open source, Java doesn't come by default in many linux distros, Java isn't the speediest thing out there (dispite many people who keep mentioning Java's optimised JIT compiler but completely forget about normal optimizing compilers) and a Java library is almost impossible to bind to other environments and languages. The other thing is, rightly or wrongly, java just isn't that popular with open source types. Java is almost THE WORST language selection one could make.

      Between Sun's marketing department and B-grade university CS programs that work like Java trade schools there is a disturbing number of people out there that think that: Java is comparitively easy to use, Java is flexible/powerful and Java is fast enough to do state of the art techniques on computers that currently exist.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by perkr (626584)

      You are probably right that games will end up being written in an easier language than C++ and with critical and difficult-to-write components such as AI and Graphics as seprate components.

      However, it seems hard to separate AI and for instance physics. For an AI to be smart it has to know how the physics component work or no? I mean is game development going to end up like BizTalk hehe (components "brokering" over XML basically). :)

      Also, for games to have an "edge" creativity in all diverse areas hav

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @11:14AM (#15944095)
    I guess if there is anything here to wonder at, it's that this game engine consolidation did not gather steam sooner. Maybe EA, who's been vacuuming up small game companies, whanted their newly-acquired employees to maintain a brief sense of independence. But if you're a game company that cranks out dozens of games a year, with almost all of them being 3D in some way, it makes sense to standardize. I would guess their intention with Renderware is to make it a very modular, clean and optimized game engine, so that its core can be used across all the lines of EA games. This will make redundant lots of the back-end people in EA's recent acquisitions. The people who remain will "generate content" for THE game engine.

    I'm not sure whether this is bad or good. I was thinking it might make future games feel generic, but then I thought... more than now? Let's hope not. But maybe the generic feel of today's FPSes is that the oft-reused game engines are not quite flexible enough, so the player "recognizes" the engine underneath. Maybe in the future they will fix that.

    • I'm not sure whether this is bad or good.

      Good for EA as a company (quicker game releases/more game releases), bad for the EA employees (most of the "smart" coder get the axe since they are no longer needed). Still up in the air about how it will be for consumers, but we will just have to wait and see what EA does with this standardized engine.

    • by Quarters (18322)
      EA did standardize. They bought Criterion and Renderware a year or two back. This more to license UE3 is very odd and doesn't say much for EA's attempt to keep Renderware current after they purchased it.
      • by robson (60067)
        EA did standardize. They bought Criterion and Renderware a year or two back. This more to license UE3 is very odd and doesn't say much for EA's attempt to keep Renderware current after they purchased it.

        Yeah, it seems pretty clear that their acquisition of Renderware was not so they could use the engine, but rather to hinder the ability of other developers to easily create cross-platform titles. In other words, EA probably bought Renderware so they could kill it.
    • by Pharmboy (216950) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @01:39PM (#15944566) Journal
      Valve has been doing something like this for some time, but differently. By keeping their SDK opened up (and developing TFC soley using the public SDK) they encouraged independent content. DoD was indy at one time, as were most of the titles that now run on the HL1 or Steam/Source engine. The good stuff, they buy up or invest further in, turning "ok free mods" into "really good $10/$20 games".

      I own many of the titles, and the game play is very different. There is a little "sameness" in some titles (CS/TFC/HL) but this is mainly just consistancy, not generic blandness. The content is different as is the overall gameplay. Then again, HL1 itself was a licensed engine from Quake.

      So you can develop some unique games on the same platform. EA will probably do it closed. Valve does it fairly open. The public will decide who does it better.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pixel_bc (265009)
      > vacuuming up small game companies

      Aside from the Mythic acquisition, EA hasn't been purchasing companies.......

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