Today I noticed that Ryan Shwayder over at Nerfbat has posted a press release from 38 Studios regarding their second choice in the last few weeks of an engine for their new unannounced MMO.
BigWorld engine was chosen a couple of weeks ago for the back end (server-side engine) and they have chosen the Unreal Engine v 3.o for their client side. For those of you that don’t know, Unreal is a robust engine for building client side games. Epic, the developer of Unreal Technology, has made some successful games using the engine. The most notable of these are Gears of War and Bioshock. Most of you probably already know that these games are available both for the PC and XBox 360. I think this is notable as I expect that the 38 Studios product will likely be the next “AAA” MMO to ship with more than a PC as a platform.
There have been successes and failures using this engine (in previous versions of the Unreal Engine) for an MMO. The most notable failure (at least so far) was Vanguard. It’s been reported that there was a directive inside of Sigil to make sure that the game shipped with all UE scripting replaced by Sigil scripting, so this failure can scarcely be placed at Epic’s feet. As a matter of fact, the Epic list of licensees reads like a who’s who of gaming, including just about every major studio out there.
I’m encouraged to see that they are to this point in their development efforts. I personally think this is a great choice (although I understand there are some challenges to adapting the engine for MMO play, and you have to also consider that I know bupkis about this on a practical level) for their front-end engine. I’m looking forward more and more to what these guys have going.