Epic Games Teases New Project That Will “Push Next-Gen Graphics”

Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney says the studio has three projects on the go, including one high-end game that will push the capabilities of next-gen hardware.

Gears of War studio Epic Games is hard at work on the base-building/zombie-shooting game Fortnite, but that’s not the only thing it has on the go. Founder Tim Sweeney recently told Edge Online that the studio actually has three projects cooking, including Fortnite, a mobile game and, of particular interest, a next-gen title designed to highlight the capabilities of the Unreal Engine 4.

“It’s going to push next-generation graphics as you’d always expect Epic to do,” he said.

It will be some time yet before that game, and the mobile title, are ready to be revealed, but he noted that a large number of Unreal Engine 4-powered titles being developed by other studios, some announced and some not, are also in the works. At the same time, he dismissed the suggestion that Epic was on the path to becoming more of an “engine company” than an actual game studio.

“If you look at what’s on people’s radars right now then you might say, ‘Epic’s going to just be an engine company now.’ But you can look back at 2006 or 2008 or 2011 [and] you might have said, ‘Epic’s going to just be a games company now’ – it’s just constantly pingponging back between those two,” he said. He described the processes of game design and engine building as “inseparable,” noting that Epic has comparable numbers of people working on both sides of the coin and that “the engine is based on the feedback from our game development processes.”

And while Epic is best known these days for the Gears of War franchise, Sweeney said that the industry is shifting away from triple-A game development. That’s driven Epic to make the Unreal Engine 4 more accessible to indie developers, who are moving to fill the void left by the reduced number of major, mainstream releases. “They’re really being developed in a completely new way – rather than being built over a very long period of time and then released with a massive marketing campaign, you’re seeing a Kickstarter and then preview versions becoming available that are incrementally improved over time,” he said. “It’s a really interesting time for the industry.”

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