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Unreal Engine 3 Fingered in Midway's Struggles

by Blake Ellison, Nov 18, 2008 3:51pm PST
Related Topics – Midway, Unreal Engine 3

A number of ex-Midway employees, when asked about the publisher's downward spiral, had a variety of answers, but almost all of them mentioned Unreal Engine 3, the technology licensed from Epic Games that powers Gears of War.

"One issue popped up again and again: Midway's decision to license Unreal Engine and use it for ALL its games," wrote Variety's Ben Fritz of his interviews with former Midway staffers.

Epic's Gears of War 2, built on Unreal Engine 3

The technology had been licensed to give Midway a common technical base for its projects, but individual teams lacked the know-how to tweak the engine for their own purposes. "It was a ton of new technology which they just weren't capable of doing. It put all the games way behind schedule," said an anonymous ex-employee.

When those delayed games finally were released, they suffered at the hands of critics and sold poorly, forcing Midway to push bad games out the door in a desperate grab for revenue.

This isn't the first time Epic's technology has been implicated in another studio's misfortunes. Too Human developer Silicon Knights sued Epic for breach of contract over its Unreal Engine 3 license after the developer encountered a number of issues while working on the game.




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