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Oliver warns studios against opting for "obvious choice"

Blitz Games exec Andrew Oliver has warned developers that buying middleware such as Epic's Unreal engine 3 is not the only option - and could create problems further down the line.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Oliver said, "The Unreal engine and toolset is very good and is becoming the obvious choice for many developers, but it's certainly not the only choice. That's where, I feel, a lot of people are making mistakes.

"People are doing good sales and marketing for things like Unreal, saying, 'Everything's changed, you've got to rethink games, you've got to go and buy something in.' But when you look at it closely, it's not that everything has changed."

According to Oliver, developers can be left with a real problem if the price of the engine they've purchased goes up a year later. "Of course they'll buy it; because they're knackered, because they can't do the sequel, and the whole thing falls over. And so you go out of business. I saw this happening as EA were buying RenderWare," he observed.

"And just like RenderWare got bought by EA, Unreal - I'd be bloody surprised if they're not in discussions with Microsoft or someone about being bought... Put it this way - that's what these people do."

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BIadestarX3834d ago (Edited 3834d ago )

Well some developer don't a choice. Developing a game engine from the ground up requires lots of talents and lots of time. No one argues that if a company has the resources to create their own game engine they should go for it; but this is not realistic for smaller companies. Also, the primary benefit of using these game engines is that 3rd party developers developing in multiple platforms are able to re-use great portion of the code while also reducing the learning curve and under the hood specifics of each development platform (Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, etc). Buy using these engines development cost is reduced and also the work for porting games to multiple plaforms. This is not an issue for first party games; since they will only be developing to 1 platform. This is also why 1st party games tend to be better in many aspects since they are not limited by any game engine limitations. But thats the trade off. So, it is a lot easier than done. Game would take a long time to cook, if each developer would write its own game engine, not as many games would be released on multiple platforms, and new consoles would suffer due to the lack of knowledge and having to write and entire game engine for the specific platform.
This why microsoft is publishing the XNA concept in order other alternatives for this. The only draw back is that microsoft is now in the console race, and other companies like Sony or nintendo will not be interested in it. It sucks that everytime a new console comes out almost everything chances, which is why companies buy game engines.

THWIP3834d ago

When asked what he thinks of the Unreal engine, Oliver replied, "We're dead impressed by all the demos. But a demo is... A lot of it is very very nice graphics. I mean, all of the technical features when you go down... Our middleware does that, we just haven't got the flashy art demo because we're busy making games. They're not."

They're not busy making games, eh? Perhaps he's not heard of a little game called GEARS OF WAR. And perhaps he's not aware of UT 2007 either. EPIC is very small, in terms of dev houses. That they are nearly done with 2 MAJOR projects, on 2 COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PLATFORMS, is a big deal. This is just bitter jealousy...pure and simple. Not to mention, it's coming from the head of a company that's not made a quality game in YEARS...if EVER.

What a f***ing joke.

drewdrakes3834d ago

UT 2007 is said to be coming to PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

THWIP3834d ago

Not that Epic has admitted/confirmed that....which has been rumored for MONTHS now. But still, how is that relevant to anything I said?

THWIP3834d ago (Edited 3834d ago )

...simply doesn't have enough clout in this industry, for this to even be a story. It's laughable that anyone would give Oliver an interview, and bother printing this garbage.

Yo Wassap3834d ago

I think i have to agree with you there, he makes a couple of good points at the begining but ruins the whole thing with that last paragraph. Maybe he just missed one of the most important titles for the entire 360...