Epic has a "high end" game in development that will showcase the power of the new Unreal Engine, according to the firm's co-founder Tim Sweeney, much as Gears of War wowed players back at the dawn of the Xbox 360 era.
"It's going to push next generation graphics as you'd always expect Epic to do," he explained to Edge in a recent interview. Alas, there's nothing more to tell for the moment, though Sweeney did also hint at the existence of several unannounced Unreal Engine titles from other companies.
"There's a lot [of games] on the way and a large number of them haven't been announced," he said. "You'll see lots of triple-A stuff coming out over time." Some of these may not be traditional, full-fat blockbusters, however. "The industry's changing," Sweeney added. "This generation it seems like there are about a third of the number of triple-A titles in development across the industry as there was last time around - and each one seems to have about three times the budget of the previous generation. I think we're heading towards a future where triple-A is the minority."
He played down suggestions that Epic's more interested in selling the Unreal Engine than creating games at present. "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 you might have said 'Epic's going to just be a games company now' - it's just constantly pingponging back between those two."
"At any time there are over 100 engineers working on the Unreal Engine and there are more than 100 developers worldwide at Epic contributing to our games, so they're really inseparable - the engine is based on the feedback from our game development processes."
Unreal Engine 4 isn't just powerful - in keeping with other "next gen" engines, it's much more user-friendly, which supposedly equates to lower costs when making the transition to new hardware. "At the beginning of the last generation we were using Gears Of War as a demonstration of the engine's high end featureset," said Sweeney. "This time around, we're trying to use Fortnite to push our engine's breadth of feature set separately from its graphical capabilities."