Ahead of the title’s official unveiling, Respawn Entertainment confirmed Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order would be powered by Unreal Engine 4. At the time, it was an interesting piece of news, given that Respawn’s other titles—Titanfall and Apex Legends—run on Source Engine. So why did the studio switch things up for the Star Wars project? According to Game Director Stig Asmussen and Respawn CEO Vince Zampella, the reasoning is simple. Unreal Engine was the best option for the game the team was making.
In an interview with Game Informer, Asmussen explained the project, even before Respawn new it would be Star Wars, was in early development prior to the team’s joining Electronic Arts. Thus, an engine such as Frostbite from DICE was not an option. When the studio did become associated with EA, there was never any pressure to use Frostbite from the publisher. Asmussen noted:
When we started this team, this was even before Star Wars, I was the only person on the team. We knew we were going to start hiring a few more people, and we needed to start building from the ground up. I did a little bit of research on Unreal, and there was a couple other options out there–remember, we’re not a part of EA at this point. So Frostbite wasn’t even an option. I started tinkering around with [Unreal Engine 4] and thought, ‘wow, this is pretty powerful [with] what an individual developer can do with it, imagine what a whole team can do with it.’ We just pushed forward with it, then. Very happy with the decision.
Asked if the team would’ve been required to use Frostbite had EA been involved sooner, Asmussen said, “there’s been no mandates for us to use Frostbite…” Zampella added that Respawn based its decision solely on what was the best “fit” for the things they were trying to accomplish, as well as “what made sense for the team.” When initially hiring new developers, Zampella and Co. found it far easier to find people familiar with Unreal Engine. In addition, Unreal Engine served as the better option since it meant Source Engine would not have to be adapted to meet the needs of Star Wars.
The public will be able to experience Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in all its glory later this year. Respawn’s upcoming venture into a galaxy far, far away will hit the PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One on November 15, 2019.
[Source: Game Informer]