Posted on February 15, 2008,

Mark Rein on What’s Next for Epic and When a New Unreal Engine is Needed

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CliffyB seems to have caused quite a mess with his comments that PC gaming is in “disarray,” but in other corners of the Internet (does the Internet have corners? then how does the globe have corners?), Mark Rein sat down with Gameplayer to discuss Unreal Tournament 3, Gears of War, and the Unreal Engine.

So where do you see the limitations [of Unreal Engine 3] coming in? At which point do you start thinking you need to move onto the next engine?

Well there’s so much more further to go with this generation. The Xbox 360 and PS3 are really only in their infancy and we’re going to make a couple of more games for them. It’s not a case of next game/next engine. You can see we have brought UTIII out and we are doing cool stuff on these systems so we are with it for the near future now. We do have a research project for the next engine but that’s just Tim Sweeney writing bits of formulas on paper [laughs]. We won’t be seeing any changes until we see changes in the console technology. So who knows? It could be five years; we don’t have a clear time-frame for it. But we are working closely with Intel on projects and an engine down the road that’ll really take advantage of that.

So with UT out the door it’ll be pretty quiet for you guys next year?

We’ll just have to wait and see. You know how it is – people are like ‘you just did Gears of War, when’s the sequel out?’ We’re still working on the first one guys! Now we’ll be working on stuff for UT. For us it isn’t a case of ‘we’ve put our game out, it’s time to move on’. Putting our game out is one step in supporting our game. That’s the public step. Now the game is out we have to watch what happens next. That’s all about the way we roll. We see the game as just being the start of the user experience and we’re working more and more around the mod contents. But it’s a case of getting this game out, seeing what people can do with it and working from there.

I wouldn’t put much stock in Rein’s comments that it could be five years before the next generation of consoles or Unreal Engine; it sounds more like the first number that came to mind rather than some secret he knows.

I also wouldn’t put too much stock in the idea that Epic’s not working on Gears of War 2. We know it’s coming, Mark. Don’t you play coy.

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