Monday, April 1, 2013

Epic Games CEO states Unreal Engine 4 will not run on Wii U, later takes back statement

The annual Game Developers Conference came to a close less than three days ago. While I am sure it was filled with thoughtful insights and intelligent lectures (GDC, as the name implies, is for game developers and not the average Joe), one moment in particular sparked an internet forest fire that was subsequently subdued in less than two days. The sparks originated from a Kotaku journalist asking Mark Rein, Epic Games CEO, if Unreal Engine 4 would run on the Wii U.

"Ha ha ha. No," was the response that Mark Rein gave, supposedly exemplifying expert use of comedic timing. Unsatisfied with leaving his answer as-is, Mark Rein continued; "I mean, sorry, it's not really a correct answer. We're not… we have Unreal Engine 3 for the Wii U. Right?...If you want to make a Wii U game, we have Unreal Engine 3, and it's powering some of the best games on the Wii U already."

Not always being known for its journalistic integrity, Kotaku's article was quasi-confirmed by IGN. This exponentially increased the "Doom & Gloom," speculations surrounding the Wii U. PlayStation loyalists and Microsoft warriors started to attack the Wii U for not supporting the next generation of the Unreal Engine, with some Nintendo devotees even showing their decreasing faith in Nintendo's new console. It is also worth noting that neither of these groups nor even myself could/ can name five games which will use Unreal Engine 4 as their framework.

However, what I can only presume was less than 24 hours afterwords the posting of the Kotaku article, Engadget writer Ben Gilbert posted an interview with Mark Rein, in which Mark Rein stated the following;
You heard the stupid gaffe yesterday about the Wii U... If someone wants to take Unreal Engine 4 and ship a game on Wii U, they can! If they wanna ship an Unreal Engine 4 game on Xbox 360, they could make it happen.
Mark Rein's statement echoes an earlier comment he made when talking to VideoGamer.com in 2012, saying that the engine could run on the Wii U "if a customer decides they want to port an Unreal Engine 4 game."

In the end, the only significant outcome of all of this is that the Internet got upset. On the bright side, Digitally Downloaded will now never have to report on why Unreal Engine 4 developers are refusing to port their games to the Wii U.
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