Unreal Engine 3 is Midway’s Bane

Financially troubled publisher Midway now has someone to blame for all its problems – Epic’s Unreal Engine 3. Variety talked with some ex-employees of the company who threw light on the use of Unreal Engine 3 that caused much of the company’s woes. Here’s a bit:

"The mistake we made was, instead of just taking the base Unreal 3 engine that ‘Gears of War’ was made on and building games off of that, we let our tech and product development guys try to really modify the engine to add all these diff things," one ex-employee told me. "It was a ton of new technology which they just weren’t capable of doing. It put all the games way behind schedule."

Even though Midway invested millions in building a common tech base for all its studios, apparently they all had to adapt UE3 for each project, which meant they couldn’t share resources in a timely manner, so none of the promised benefits materialized. Making the code work for PS3 was particularly hard, sources said, and so games just weren’t coming out. Look at the first half of 2007, when all Midway shipped was "Lord of the Rings Online" for Turbine, or the first half of this year, when all it shipped was "Unreal Tournament III" for Epic.

Many publishers and studios have licensed Unreal Engine 3 for use in their games. One notable exception is Capcom, who has built its own engine to power its multiplatform releases.

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