UE4 Support for HTML5 Presents “A Big Area of Future Tension” for Publishing Models – Epic Games

But because of the need for “experiences”, it’ll take a while.

Posted By | On 01st, Apr. 2013 Under Article, News

Gamasutra recently sat down and spoke to Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney and Mark Rein on Unreal Engine 4 and the announcement that it will support HTML5 in the near future. This has several developers interested since now one could potentially develop and deploy high-end games for devices that need only to run a web browser to play them.

The advantages of avoiding legacy issues and a “quirky language like Javascript” are also manifold. However, when asked if this would become a threat to the traditional publishing model – since you wouldn’t need console specific versions if games could be run off the browser itself – Sweeney replied that, “It’s a big area of future tension.

“There’s great competition between all the browser makers to make them all as standards-compliant as possible, but when you combine that with the platform-holder who wants to tax app sales on their platform, there’s an economic motive to resist fully-standardized, high-performance HTML5 and Javascript.”

Unreal Engine 4_01

Rein chimed in by stating that, “With consoles, since they’re the same configuration, for the most part, you work really hard to make those games push into every crevice of performance for the platform, and the compiled Javascript will never get you that kind of performance you get from optimizing native to the hardware.

“But on PC, where you have virtually unlimited ranges of power – and most people have more PC than you need to play what you consider “web games” – you’ll have lots of capabilities. But on the console, you see the big blockbuster games like Gears of War, people expect every last pixel to be lit up.”

And as long as people expect those kind of experiences from their specialized consoles, it’ll be a while before they’re willing to play a more “generalized” version off their web browsers.

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