Epic Set to Launch Unreal Engine 4 “Around 2014”

September 28, 2011 Written by Josh Lewis

Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 has been used by countless developers as the primary middleware of choice for a large portion of this generation’s biggest games. However, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has shared some details regarding Unreal Engine 4 development, stating that now the company is investing more of its time in planning for the next generation of consoles with a tentative 2014 release date.

Speaking in regards to Epic’s new technology, Sweeny told IGN:

I spend about 60 percent of my time every day doing research work that’s aimed at our next generation engine and the next generation of consoles. This is technology that won’t see the light of day until probably around 2014, but focusing on that horizon enables me to do some really cool things that just aren’t practical today, but soon will be.

He added:

Some of our most productive work in the industry was on the first Unreal engine back in 1996, when I wrote a software vendor with a bunch of new features that hadn’t been seen before. I feel like that’s what I’m doing now on Unreal Engine 4 in exploring areas of the technology nobody else is really yet contemplating because they’re still a few years away from practicality. But I see a huge amount of potential there and so it’s very, very fun work.

The fact that Epic is already in full swing with Unreal Engine 4 development should come as little surprise, considering that they traditionally release a new game engine to coincide with the launch of new video game hardware. The competition will also be heating up for developer dollars regarding middleware licensing next-gen, with Crytek entering the market with the CryEngine.