Square Enix has announced that it plans on using Unreal Engine 3 on "multiple games." The deal was brokered in part by Epic Games Japan.
"Many Western games have achieved great success with the Unreal Engine, and this milestone reflects the Japanese development community’s trust in our technical prowess," Epic Games Japan's Taka Kawasaki said in the announcement. "We can’t wait to see how Square Enix fuses the power of Unreal Engine 3 with its beautiful characters, enthralling storylines and fantastic gameplay."
The announcement is odd, given the company's investment in its own proprietary engines, including Crystal Tools used on Final Fantasy XIII, the unrelated Crystal Engine for Deus Ex and Tomb Raider, and the Glacier Engine for IO Interactive's games. The company is also working on a next-gen DX11 engine currently called the Luminous Studio.
It's also not the first time the company has used the Unreal Engine. The Last Remnant (pictured above) was an internally-developed RPG using Epic's tech, and was critically panned for its various technological shortcomings.
Given the company's focus on its own internal engines, and its poor history with Unreal Engine, it's surprising that the company is giving the engine a second chance. It's likely that whatever projects utilizing Epic's toolset will be very multiplatform. Unlike Square Enix's own tools, Unreal Engine 3 can be deployed on a number of platforms, including PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Vita, and (probably most importantly of all), iOS.