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Epic's Mark Rein: 'Triple-A gaming is what we're about - we need platforms to empower that'

Gears of War dev on Unreal Engine 4 and the future of gaming...

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We hope so. We hope so. That's probably the best way to say it.

Would you like to guess when we'll be able to play games on UE4?

No.

The Samaritan demo runs on the current Unreal Engine. Can you talk a bit about that compared to the next-gen tech?

Samaritan is something you can do right now. In fact, Unreal Development Kit has all the features that powered Samaritan - every single graphics feature you can do. We could have shown another 30 videos. We have a guys doing stuff on high end PCs that are just outside of the gaming space that are really pushing the envelope there. So that to us is pretty exciting - and you can do that now.

UE3 is already available for that sort of stuff. I think if you were going to do a launch title for a future console, UE3 would probably be the way to go. And likewise if you were going to do something cross-generational, like Mortal Kombat on PS Vita, Xbox, PS3 and potentially it could be on iPad... that's Unreal. Unreal spans the gamut, it goes from the smallest smart phone platforms, up to the highest spec PC you can build and beyond.

Zoom

The UE4 stuff is very futuristic. UE3 is really the horse for this year.

Unreal Engine really capitalised on the huge jump in resources required to make a game on the current generation of consoles compared to the last. Do you see those requirements, and the need for licensing established technologies like Unreal , only getting bigger in the future?

Yes and more importantly I also see a broadening of it. Not everybody, but lots of people would like to take their games to more and more places. It's not enough to just have a PC game anymore. Look at Dungeon Defenders; iOS, Android, Steam, Xbox Live, PSN, web, Mac... they sold a million units, and this is a small developer. So I think it's not just up or down, but it's also horizontal.

Your other big showing here is the Flash games. Do you see that as a viable platform to develop your own title for?

As a game developer we have a limited number of opportunities to make games. Obviously over the last couple of years we've been super busy with Gears of War - and Gears 3 is on pace to be our best selling game yet. It takes a lot of resources now to make a really great, competitive shooter and so that means that when we do Gears, we're pretty busy.

But we are branching out. You see that we have Chair doing mobile games and the game we announced at the Apple conference is a Chair game; Infinity Blade Dungeons. You saw that we did a teaser for a game we're not really talking about at the moment, Fortnite, and that's going to be an online game but we haven't made a final decision on the platforms for that.

It's just a matter of... if we had five more teams, we'd do everything. But we don't and we just have to be really smart with what we do with our resources so that at least when we do deliver games on these platforms we're delivering really, really great games.

Zoom

And we do work really hard with our partners. The Vita's a great example; we are working really hard with the NetherRealm guys to make sure that the engine can do what they need it to do. We're working closely with some other developers as well to make sure it can do what they need it to do.

Whether we can bring a game to [the web] or not is unknown. Do we want to? Do I want to? Sure, I want to bring a game to everything. If I was the only guy running the company we'd be in big trouble because we'd do everything! I think what's really smart about our company is we're very good at picking and choosing our opportunities. On the middleware side we do a lot. On the game side there's only so much we can do.

Epic PR: We've actually just launched Epic Citadel on our website which you can see at Unrealengine.com/flash.

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