Square Enix signs landmark Unreal Engine 3 deal

Square Enix signs landmark Unreal Engine 3 deal

By Rob Crossley

November 17th 2011 at 1:13PM

Multiple unannounced projects to be made with Epic's flagship tech

Tokyo headquartered publishing giant Square Enix has sealed a major deal allowing it to use Unreal Engine technology for multiple unannounced projects.

The Final Fantasy publisher – which owns numerous studios across Japan and the west – is said to have purchased a "multiple-project" licence agreement.

Specific details and financial terms were not disclosed. Epic does not fix fees or royalty rates when negotiating engine deals, and tweaks terms on a case-by-case basis. Companies can buy an unlimited licence to use the tech, but it appears unlikely in this case, with the current console cycle drawing to an end.

Square Enix recently unveiled its next-generation internal games engine; a work-in-progress with the ambition to render photorealism. Until the tech is finalised, UE3 may be seen as an ideal placeholder.

The UE3 deal was brokered by Epic Games Japan, a subsidiary group established in April last year to bolster the firm’s eastern operations.

“It is a pleasure to provide Square Enix with an exceptional game engine that will help them bring thrilling new experiences to legions of fans all over the world,” said Taka Kawasaki, territory manager of Epic Games Japan.

“Many western games have achieved great success with the Unreal Engine, and this milestone reflects the Japanese development community’s trust in our technical prowess. We can’t wait to see how Square Enix fuses the power of Unreal Engine 3 with its beautiful characters, enthralling storylines and fantastic gameplay.”

The Square Enix deal closely follows another multiple-game licence agreement signed by Warner Bros.

The media firm's subsidiary studios Rocksteady and NetherRealm will exclusively use Epic Games' tech “until 2014”.