RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Gaming companies with strong RTP connections made news at the Electronics Entertainment Expo last week even as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo dominated headlines with news about forthcoming game consoles.
NDL, which is based in Chapel Hill, announced that its game engine would support platforms from Microsoft (Xbox 360) and Sony (PlayStation 3).
And Epic Games, which is based in Raleigh, announced details about the next release of its mega hit Unreal series while touting its latest game engine.
CDV Software Entertainment USA, which has an office in Cary, announced five game titles, three of which will be released this year.
Also, Red Storm Entertainment and parent Ubisoft made news with details about the latest Tom Clancy-related game Ghost Recon 3.
NDL’s New Release
NDL is planning to ship the latest version of its Gamebryo engine on May 31 as game developers point toward release of PlayStation 3 next year and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 before the end of 2005. The engine is also designed to capitalize on advanced PCs and 3D graphics cards, the company said.
“NDL is pleased to continue our participation in Sony Computer Entertainment’s Tools and Middleware program with support for PlayStation 3,” said John Austin, president and chief executive officer of NDL. “We have supported “PlayStation®2″ since launch with Gamebryo 1, and our latest version, Gamebryo 2 is architected to take advantage of the latest advances in 3D graphics hardware.”
The engine will also “fully support” Xbox 360, NDL said.
Gamebryo supports the newest rendering effects, including blurring, light blooming, night vision, and advanced texture formats.
Companies already using NDL products include Atari, Vivendi Universal Games, JoWooD Productions, Firaxis, Mythic Entertainment, Bethesda Softworks, and Irrational Games.
Unreal Tournament 2007 Is on the Way
Epic Games and Midway Games, a game developer and publisher, jointly announced that Epic’s Unreal Tournament 2007 is currently under development and premiered the title at E3.
The title will include improved graphics, some new game modes as well as new maps and vehicles.
“We feel confident that Unreal Tournament 2007 will deliver on Epic’s promise to gamers to develop only the highest quality and most innovative titles using our cutting-edge Unreal Engine 3 technology,” said Mark Rein, vice president and co-founder of Epic. “Unreal fans should rest assured that UT2007 will indeed raise the bar for not only the UT franchise but for all (first person shooter) titles, PC or console.”
The game is set for release in 2006.
Epic also demonstrated its latest game engine – Unreal Engine 3.
Jason Ocampo, writing updates from E3 for GameSpot, a web site devoted to games, attended a demo by Tim Sweeney, a co-founder of Epic and its chief executive officer.
“So the good news is that Unreal Engine 3 looks good to go on next-generation consoles and PC’s, and gamers will be better for it by a large margin,” Ocampo wrote. He called the engine’s performance as “undeniably impressive.”
Ocampo also noted that Unreal’s latest engine is being used in development of the Xbox 360 title “Gears of War”.
Epic Purchases Another Engine
Epic also announced that it had purchased another game engine, known as Reality Engine, from Artificial Studios.
Epic also hired Tim Johnson, the lead engine programmer. He will become part of the Unreal Engine 3 team, Epic said.
Epic said it may incorporate technology from Reality Engine but will not continue to sell or support it.
“(Johnson) brings six years of engine development experience to the Unreal Engine 3 development team, and he’s already brimming with ideas on how to improve our technology,” Sweeney said. “Tim is a great fit for Epic — he clearly understands all sides of the licensing business, from engineering to customer support to business development. He will have a huge positive impact on our company and our engine licensees.”
CDV Goes to War
CDV’s new title lineup includes a host of war titles. They are:
· American Conquest: Divided Nation
· Blitzkrieg II
· Codename: Panzers, Phase Two
· Warfront: Turning Point
· War Leaders: Clash of Nations
Clancy in Time for Christmas
The Clancy Ghost Recon title will be released for the holiday shopping season for a variety of platforms, including the new Xbox model.
The scenario takes place in the year 2013, and soldiers are equipped with the so-called Integrated Warfighter System that links them with each other and commanders on the battlefield.
Among the interesting features is the “Cross-Com” communications system that feeds data gathered from a device worn by a soldier and feeds it in real time via satellite to commanders.
Epic Games: www.epicgames.com
CDV Software Entertainment: www.cdv.de
Red Storm: www.redstorm.com