Earlier this year Square Enix showed off what might be considered the best looking next generation engine called Luminous. A lot of people including myself actually thought the Luminous engine was actually better looking than the Unreal Engine 4 tech demo that was also shown off at E3. However, today it was announced that Square Enix and Epic have entered into an agreement that will allow Square Enix to use the Unreal Engine 4 in future games.
The new deal was made with Epic Games Japan who will apparently help Square Enix with Unreal Engine 4 game development. Epic Games Japan “will supplement Square Enix’s proprietary software and ensure the studio is armed with the most powerful game development tools and technologies available across all major platforms.”Epic will also “provides Square Enix developers with full access to Unreal Engine 3 and Unreal Engine 4 technology across its studios.”
Epic Japan territory manager Taka Kawasaki had this to say on the relationship between the two companies:
“Epic has a strong relationship with Square Enix, and it’s an honor to provide their creative and technical talent with the best game technology available for licensing, We look forward to supporting their developers with world-class tools for years to come.”
Square Enix has used the Unreal Engine 3 in past games including “The Last Remnant in 2008 and Demon’s Score this year”. I would have to say that the Unreal Engine is probably the most licensed video game engine of this generation.
However, I do find it a little odd that Square Enix would go out and license Unreal Engine 4 when they spent all that time and money in creating the Luminous engine. Unless Square Enix only wants to use the Unreal Engine for mobile gaming, which might be something the Luminous engine is not made for. It just seems to be a weird decision considering of how much money and time Square Enix must have invested in the Luminous engine. Which video game engine do you want to see Square Enix’s next big game come from Luminous or Unreal Engine 4?
For comparative sake, here is a look at the Luminous Engine:
Here is the Unreal Engine 4 tech demo: