NEWS - Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Silicon Knights Gets Unreal

Silicon Knights Gets Unreal May 11, 2005 - Epic Games announced that the critically acclaimed development studio Silicon Knights has chosen to license the powerful Unreal Engine 3 for all of its next-generation games. In an official release, Epic stated that, "By using the Unreal Engine 3, Silicon Knights believes that it will be able to push the boundaries of games and take them beyond gamers’ wildest expectations." Silicon Knights, best known for adult-themed software like Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, is underway with multiple projects for still-unspecified next-generation consoles. The studio, a former Nintendo second party, ended its exclusive collaboration with the Big N last year in order to branch out and create games for other, competing platforms. Earlier this year, Silicon Knights announced that it had partnered with SEGA to develop a title for next-generation consoles. Little is known about the project, but company president Denis Dyack did confirm that gamers who have come to expect thoughtful and dark software from the studio will not be disappointed with this still top-secret game, which may not ship until 2007, according to insiders. In the past, Silicon Knights created its own game engines. The move to license the powerful Unreal Engine 3 from Epic Games may indicate that the studio is presently more focused on the creation of content. Incidentally, the software house employs a staff of more than 80, some 50 of which are dedicated to the task of outputting gorgeously realistic art. Combined with the undisputed power of Epic’s engine, the company is poised to produce some very eye-popping games indeed. "We feel The Unreal Engine 3 is by far the best technology for next-generation systems. With its advanced graphic pipeline and technical capabilities Silicon Knights will be able to concentrate on delivering content at a production level previously unheard of," said Denis Dyack, president and founder of Silicon Knights. "By partnering with Epic Games exclusively, we feel will be able to help usher in a new era where videogames become the dominant form of entertainment for this century." The Unreal Engine 3 has quickly surpassed RenderWare and other similar technologies as the most sought after backbone for next-generation games. The Unreal Engine 3 enables developers to use intuitive toolsets to create cutting-edge graphics, implement massive world support, multi-processor support and more, all the while maintaining optimizations suited for the next round of platforms. Dozens of today’s top-tier software houses have already licensed Unreal 3 Engine for their future console games. Mark Rein, vice president and co-founder of Epic Games said: "We are very excited to be working with Silicon Knights this generation. Combining the technology of the Unreal Engine 3 with the creativity of Silicon Knights has awesome potential. Silicon Knights is a powerhouse for creating original content and the Unreal Engine 3 is a perfect vehicle to deliver it on." "It is very exciting to have Silicon Knights use Unreal Engine 3 technology exclusively. Silicon Knights is a savvy developer that has always created their own technology in the past," added Tim Sweeney, CEO and co-founder of Epic Games. "It is inspiring that they have now partnered with us exclusively this generation as it re-enforces our belief that we are on the right path for developing the proper tools and technology for creating the best games on the next generation systems." It is not yet known if Silicon Knights will be showing off any of its Unreal 3 Engine-enhanced games at the Electronics Entertainment Expo 2005. However, announcements like these tend to preempt even bigger announcements, so we’re certainly keeping our fingers crossed for a major game unveiling or two.


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