Author Topic: Square Enix licenses Unreal Engine 3 for multiple projects  (Read 1218 times)

Spee

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Square Enix licenses Unreal Engine 3 for multiple projects
« on: November 19, 2011, 10:04:43 PM »

Square Enix have licensed Epic Games’ Unreal 3 engine for the development of multiple games. Epic’s Japanese division, set up in April 2010 to provide support to Unreal 3 licensees in Japan, arranged the deal.

This isn’t the first time that Square Enix have have worked on games using Unreal 3. The Last Remnant, a role-playing game released for the PC and Xbox 360 in 2008, used Unreal 3 as well. Development of that game, unfortunately, was made unstable by the constant back and forth collaboration required between Epic and Square Enix, in order to make the engine ready for use.

One of the many problems was that the engine had to be translated into Japanese before Square’s developers could use it. Once this process began, translation errors presented another hurdle to cross. Epic were also in the process of frequently updating Unreal 3, which caused synchronization problems with Square’s own development cycle on The Last Remnant.

Aside from Square Enix, other Japanese developers such as Grasshopper Manufacture and CyberConnect 2 are Unreal 3 licensees as well. Grasshopper used the game for Shadows of the Damned, and CC2 are using it for Asura’s Wrath.



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Re: Square Enix licenses Unreal Engine 3 for multiple projects
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2011, 10:18:05 PM »
Unless Square is planning to bring The Last Remnant to the PlayStation 3... otherwise, why?


pprincess

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Re: Square Enix licenses Unreal Engine 3 for multiple projects
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2011, 10:26:57 PM »
I did a little more digging on this story. A couple of reasons Square is doing this: one is probably partly due to the fact that the Unreal Engine 3 was finally optimized for Mac OS X, just a couple of months ago. So now games will run on Apple machines which was not the case before.

The Unreal Engine 3 will run on Android, some other phone apps, IPad, as well as PC and all the other gaming consoles. So this means a larger market for game software.

I read too that when Last Remnant was created, at the time the Unreal Engine had not been translated into Japanese, which caused a long delay at SE. Then during the same period, Epic kept re-updating the Unreal Engine, which seems to be the reason SE scrapped Last Remnant for the PS 3, because the updates still hadn't been translated either. The development time on the game just got longer and longer, costing SE more money. They had to get that game out and recoup some of the cost. This all explains too why Last Remnant had so many problems that SE didn't bother fixing. The updates on the Unreal Engine by Epic were just losing money for SE.

But now the Unreal Engine 3 has been stabilized. I also read that the reason for the license is because of the long development time SE is still having so many problems with. They just cannot get a game out because they have been using their own game engines. Apparently Crystal Works, SE's engine, had to be customised for both FFXIII and FFXIV separately. The delay on these games and the problems with FFXIV have added time and money to SE's development. By buying the Unreal Engine 3 license, SE is basically trying to address their long development time problem, which as we know is their biggest problem right now. This year they have not had a single big console release, with only tentative dates for FFXIII-2 atm. So, they are obviously hoping that the Unreal Engine 3 will allow them to speed up development time and get some games released faster.

They really do need to be addressing their eternally long development times, it's ridiculous how long they are taking to release anything, and projects are likely to get cancelled before they are ever released. Maybe this is a step in the right direction.