We spotted this article on Kotaku, concerning Square Enix joining the ranks of developers using Emergent Software's Gamebryo for the development of an upcoming title. The article prompted some thinking about middleware engines and their effect on the industry. On the surface, they seem wonderful: The developer cuts the cost and time associated with development of a new title, and the gamers get something that is relatively solid and get it faster than in the old days. However, are middleware engines really all that? Or are we as gamers foregoing the things that once made our games unique?