Posted on April 11, 2008,

New EA Agreement is One of Epic’s Biggest Unreal Engine Deals Yet

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Electronic Arts and Epic Games recently announced that EA had expanded its license to use Unreal Engine 3 in at least five unannounced games that are currently in development. Their original agreement was made in 2006, and has been used in several EA produced games, including Army of Two. There’s more significance to this deal than meets the eye, at least to Epic. Mark Rein, the company’s VP, called the deal “one of the biggest we’ve done,” speaking with videogaming247.

“It’s significantly more than five more games,” said Rein. “It’s pretty important, yeah. I think it’s one of the biggest engine license deals we’ve done.”

“I don’t want to overstate this deal. It’s not like they’re going to use it for every single game. But I think we’ve done pretty well. There’s still going to be horses for courses. There’s still going to be some situations where there’s going to be some technology that suits, and there are people still developing their own technology, but I think it’s just showing the value of licensing technology in general, and how important it is to maintain productivity and profitability and ship really good quality titles.”

What will be interesting to see, I think, will be how EA treats its customers when it comes to microtransactions and in-game ads when building games with the Unreal Engine. Yes, EA does of course have to regain the money they doled out in the licensing agreement, but what about the money they potentially save by avoiding the need to design a new game engine? That’s just wishful thinking, I suppose, but it’s still nice to imagine a world where you don’t have to pay for cheat codes.

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