It looks like Epic is adding another tool into the now ginormous Unreal Engine 3 toolbox as they are now including GameSpy's suite of online technologies into the game. This will allow developers to have access to those technologies while they are building their games. I'm not really sure this impacts anyone outside of PC developers as the 360 and PS3 already have a lot of those features baked in (well the PS3 not quite so much). Still it's another added goodie that may help sway a developer to pick the UE3 engine over others. This is the third big addition joining the Ageia PhysX engine and Microsoft's Xbox LIVE service.
GAMESPY AND EPIC GAMES ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT TO INTEGRATE GAMESPY MULTIPLAYER AND COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY INTO EPIC’S UNREAL® ENGINE 3
GameSpy to Join Epic’s Integrated Partners Program
BRISBANE, Calif. - August 15, 2007 – IGN Entertainment’s GameSpy, a leader in multiplayer and online gaming technology, and Epic Games today announced a licensing deal to incorporate GameSpy’s suite of online technology into Epic’s Unreal® Engine 3, one of the industry’s most popular game engines. Under the terms of the agreement, GameSpy will join Epic’s prestigious Integrated Partners Program, and its technology will be immediately available to any publishers or developers that license Unreal® Engine 3.
By incorporating GameSpy’s online technology into Unreal Engine 3, the two companies have created an integrated one-stop solution for game developers looking to leverage the world’s most advanced multi-player technology and game engine in one package. The partnership will span both the PC and PLAYSTATION®3 platforms within Unreal Engine 3, enabling seamless PLAYSTATION®3 and PC online functionality. Functionality available to Unreal Engine 3 licensees via Gamespy will include cross-platform gameplay, communication tools and competition applications.
“Epic and the Unreal Engine 3 are on the leading edge of next-generation and multi-platform gaming, and we are very pleased to join the Integrated Partners Program. GameSpy is committed to working together with Epic to address a broad range of needs for the connected gamer, including multiplayer matchmaking, in-game and out-of-game messaging, persistent player communities, and competition systems,” said Jamie Berger, senior vice president of consumer products and technology for IGN Entertainment. “Over the past months we have fully integrated a broad suite of GameSpy online technology in Unreal Engine 3 and have built a fantastic working relationship with Epic. We look forward to extending that relationship with a number of new technologies customized for Unreal Engine 3 to be introduced over the next 12 months.”
By making available many leading community tools and technologies, GameSpy will provide game developers with the opportunity to have PLAYSTATION®3 and PC users play, communicate and compete together as a single community. GameSpy technologies available to license immediately include:
- GameSpy “Matchmaking” is a robust and flexible matchmaking system that makes it easy for gamers to find suitable opponents effortlessly
- GameSpy’s “Comrade” in-game middleware and desktop technology that enables seamless in-game to out-of-game community features, such as instant messaging, in-game voice communication, and friend rosters
- GameSpy’s “Sake” will allow developers to store data securely online, enabling gamers to build extensive player profiles and maintain game statistics
- GameSpy’s “ATLAS” advanced statistical system for dynamic leaderboards and tournaments within the game and on the web
- Future feature sets developed by GameSpy will all be incorporated into the Epic Partnership.
“We’re very excited to welcome GameSpy into the Integrated Partners Program,” said Mark Rein, Vice President of Epic Games, Inc. “GameSpy is the leader in multiplayer gaming technology and has a vast amount of experience in developing rich and sophisticated multiplayer systems with community and commerce features that Epic and its Unreal Engine 3 licensees can directly benefit from. Having GameSpy integrate their technology into our engine and provide direct support for our licensees is a huge value-add for Unreal Engine 3.”
In additional to providing multiplayer online features, GameSpy will also join Epic Games’ Integrated Partners Program (IPP). The IPP program establishes a formal business relationship with selected companies making cross-platform technologies which integrate with, and are complementary to, Unreal Engine 3. Under the IPP program Epic provides continuous Unreal Engine 3 source code access and full technical support to IPP members. Companies who join the IPP agree to provide a high level of technical support for UE3 licensees through Epic's established support channels, keep their implementations up-to-date with the latest UE3 versions, and work with Epic on potential promotional and co-marketing efforts.
GameSpy technology integration is immediately available and several developers have already licensed the integrated GameSpy technology, including Codemasters’ Turning Point: Fall of Liberty and Ubisoft’s Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway.
GameSpy, a division of IGN Entertainment, is the leader in multiplayer gaming technology. Utilized by each of world's top ten publishers, GameSpy's technology is accessible on eight different platforms and featured in more than 500 current titles. With more than 19 million registered users, GameSpy has the tools, expertise and ingenuity to help connect gamers, induce competition, foster community and create new commerce opportunities. IGN Entertainment is a unit of Fox Interactive Media.
About IGN Entertainment
IGN Entertainment, a unit of Fox Interactive Media, Inc., is a leading Internet media and services provider focused on the videogame and entertainment enthusiast markets. Collectively, IGN's properties reached more than 30 million unique users worldwide in the month of May 2007, according to Internet audience measurement firm comScore Media Metrix. IGN's network of videogame-related properties (IGN.com, GameSpy, FilePlanet, TeamXbox, Direct2Drive and others), is the Web's number one videogame information destination and attracts one of the largest concentrated audiences of young males on the Internet. IGN also owns and operates the popular movie-related website, Rotten Tomatoes and one of the leading male lifestyle Websites, AskMen.com. In addition, IGN provides technology for online game play in videogames. IGN is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, with offices throughout the U.S. and in Montreal.
About Unreal Engine 3
The award-winning Unreal Engine is known for cutting-edge graphics and a best-of-breed toolset. Unreal Engine 3 is expected to maintain those features while adding massive world support, multi-processor support, next-generation console optimizations, and one of the most mature tool pipelines in the industry. Unreal Engine 3's new toolset is designed specifically to accelerate developers' productivity for ultra-complex, next-generation content. Additional information on Unreal Engine can be obtained at www.unrealtechnology.com.
About Epic Games
Epic Games, Inc., based in Cary, NC and established in 1991, develops cutting-edge games and game engine technology for PC and console. The company has created multiple million-selling, award-winning titles in their Unreal® series and their latest game, Gears of War®, broke sales records on Xbox 360 selling more than 3 million copies worldwide in the first ten weeks and awarded overall Game of the Year for 2006 by multiple media outlets including Gamespot and Gamepro. Epic is also responsible for the Unreal Engine, which is the underlying technology for a wide range of games including, Console Game of the Year winner, "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell TM" by Ubi Soft; PC Gamer's Game of the Year, "Deus Ex" from Ion Storm/Eidos; "America's Army: Special Forces," by the United States Army, and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (PC) by Electronic Arts. Epic's Unreal Engine 3 is the current holder, and three-time consecutive winner, of Game Developer magazine's Front Line award for Best Game Engine. Epic Games was also awarded Studio of the Year at the 2006 Spike TV Video Game Awards and Developer of the Year by Official Xbox Magazine. Additional information about Epic can be obtained through Epic's Web site at http://www.epicgames.com.
Unreal and Gears of War are registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners