“World domination through gaming” is the battle cry at baseball star Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios, and if he’s to deliver on that call Epic Games’ Unreal 3 engine will be a part of the story.

Schilling, one of baseball’s most dominating pitchers now with the Boston Red Sox, officially entered the videogame business last year with the creation of his own massively multiplayer online (MMO) game studio known as 38 Studios. That’s his number with the Red Sox. The studios, which is located in Maynard, Mass., satisfies one of his passions – video games.

He has hired some of the brightest minds away from game companies like Sony Online Entertainment, Electronic Arts and others to create an original cross-platform fantasy entertainment franchise with a story written by best-selling author R.A. Salvatore and artwork by Spawn comic book creator Todd McFarlane.

Now, 38 Studios has licensed Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3 technology to power its upcoming it’s first game, which isn’t due out until 2010. The deal was announced Wednesday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. The Unreal engine developed by the Cary-based gaming company is one of the most popular in the interactive entertainment industry.

The Unreal contract is 38 Studios’ second engine licensing deal; having already signed to use BigWorld Technology Suite for its backend, server-side capabilities.

“38 Studios is uniquely positioned to deliver an unparalleled online entertainment experience,” said Brett Close, 38 Studios’ chief executive officer. “Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 is best-of-breed, empowering developers with superior content creation tools, extensive middleware integration, and exceptional visual quality and rendering. Epic gets what it takes to make great games, and its Unreal Engine 3 toolset will allow our development team to prototype efficiently and achieve the signature visual quality and excellence we are striving for.”

Close said the company is utilizing a combination of Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 toolset and BigWorld’s server-side technologies to meet its requirements for achieving what he called an unparalleled online entertainment experience.

“38 Studios really wanted to push the envelope with their client-side technology,” added Jay Wilbur, vice president at Epic. “Unreal Engine 3 will enable them to quickly iterate and define their look using high-end graphics and toolsets, integrated middleware, and collaborate with an entire community of developers. 38 Studios is comprised of some of the industry’s top technological and creative minds, and we look forward to seeing what they do with our engine.”

Jon Laff, chief technology officer at 38 Studios, said that history has taught the team that the risk associated with building complex games is reduced significantly when the core infrastructure and toolsets are in place early on.

“With both Unreal Engine 3 and BigWorld, 38 Studios is marrying two unbeatable technologies to give us the foundation to produce the highest quality MMO we can while still allowing us to focus on making a game that is uniquely ours,” he explained.