Mark Rein speaks out about next-gen development

Written by Wil Harris

July 21, 2005 | 12:19

Tags: #interview #mark-rein #unreal-engine #unreal-engine-3 #unreal-tournament

Companies: #epic #unreal

Mark Rein, head honcho at Epic Games, has spoken out on some of the issues facing games developers creating titles for next-gen machines.

Speaking to developer website GamaSutra, Mark talks about some of the things he's found as his company starts to license it's Unreal Engine technology to third parties.

Unreal Engine 3 is being used in Unreal Tournament 2007 and Gears of War, as well as a multitude of as-yet-unannounced titles.

The engine is proving to be flexible and speedy for those working with it, and many next-gen developers are using it rather than building their own engines for next consoles. Some publishers, like EA, have said that costs for developing next-gen games are going to go through the roof. Mark suggests that "We're making our next-gen games for 25-50% more than our previous generation games, and when we hear those kinds of numbers [from EA] we think that's just bravado, that's just them trying to scare their competitors out of the market place.

"We don't subscribe to that... we've done a lot of work... in making our tools really optimized so that artists and designers can get the most out of the engine without having to involve a huge amount of programmer resources."

The message is clear - don't bother developing a new engine, just use ours because it's cheaper and easier. But what of their major rivals in the console space, Renderware (now acquired by EA)?

"I know that it affects who wants to use it, because big companies that compete directly with EA don't want to be paying EA money. WE've already been the beneficiary of that, so I don't want to jinx it."

As we've mentioned in our latest opinion column, some games companies like THQ have said that next-gen games will cost $10 more than currently. Is this feasible?

"I don’t believe that’s going to happen. I’d be very shocked. I think they’re going to try, there’s no question, but honestly I don’t believe that. I honestly think the market won’t bear it! We’re already paying $50 per game, I honestly believe for the majority of games, the market will not pay $60.

That’s just going to drive piracy through the roof, and people are just going to revolt."

Wise words. Read the full interview over here.

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