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Published on January 25th, 2007 | by Daniel David

Square-Enix Licenses Unreal Engine 3

Square-Enix has announced today that they have licensed Epic Games Unreal Engine 3 to be used with upcoming next-generation games. This may come as a surprise to some since Square-Enix has always used their own stuff when it comes to making games and for the most part they always made games that push consoles to the limit.

Here’s the official press release:

Tokyo, Japan, (Jan. 25, 2007) – Square Enix Co., Ltd. today announced a licensing agreement with Epic Games that enables Square Enix to introduce Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 middleware into its next-generation game development process.

Square Enix has built its highly successful franchises such as FINAL FANTASY®, DRAGON QUEST® and KINGDOM HEARTS by pushing game consoles to their limits and providing unparalleled user experiences for more than 20 years. This was achieved through the company’s proprietary technologies, which were mostly optimized for each game given the limited resources of game consoles. However, in order to ensure both game quality and development efficiency for next-generation game systems including consoles, PCs and network titles, Square Enix is now building a technology platform to be used throughout the company utilizing proprietary technologies as well as introducing third-party solutions such as Unreal Engine 3.

“The complexity of next-generation game systems featuring HD graphics and multi-core parallel processing poses a number of technological challenges to our game development. However, we can expedite our game development process significantly while allowing extra time and resources to be spent on game design and mechanics by establishing an effective technology platform,” said Taku Murata, General Manager, Research and Development Division, Square Enix, Co., Ltd. “The technology platform for game development is becoming more important than ever. I’m excited to be partnering with Epic Games in such an important area.”

“We’re extremely excited to be working with Square Enix,” said Jay Wilbur, Vice President, Epic Games, Inc. “Square Enix is one of the biggest and most influential companies in the world-wide game business, and having them work with Unreal Engine 3 is a major honor for us and something we’re very proud to be announcing.”

My opinion is that their main titles like Final Fantasy will use the new White Engine they created but other titles will probably use a combination of both to make things easier and provide the best gameplay imaginable. I think of Square-Enix as an RPG powerhouse and I never thought they needed help but if this means the games they make are going to be even better then I’m all for it.

I also think from reading the statement that they want to ensure quality of not just consoles but PC’s and network titles which makes me think that they want more of an online presence other then Final Fantasy XI which the Unreal Engine 3 will be more then useful. Square-Enix has always brought the best to the table and I don’t think that it’s going to stop now.


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