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Another Electronic Entertainment Expo has come and gone, and Epic Games couldn’t be more impressed with all of the developers who stepped up and made this show the best one yet.
With nearly 70 Unreal Engine games appearing at E3, we were excited to make the rounds at the show. Here are a few observations we took away from the industry’s annual pilgrimage to Los Angeles.
Triple-A is here to stay
High-fidelity, large-scale games are on their way to stretching technology, storytelling, and social experiences in ways we haven’t yet seen.
The “next gen” of a couple of years ago is now a real force to be reckoned with, and it’s beginning to push the current generation of hardware in terms of visuals.
These are just 10 of the E3 blockbusters we’re honored to help ship through our tools and tech:
Another notable trend: Kickstarter is now an option for promising games regardless of scope and size. As seen in the PlayStation E3 Briefing with Yu Suzuki’s Shenmue III, which hit $2 million in nine hours, anyone can jumpstart development through the community.
Indies and established developers alike are using Kickstarter as a tool to communicate the world, “players want these games.” Shenmue III’s success follows on the heels of the record-breaking Bloodstained and Mighty No. 9 campaigns, games also powered by Unreal.
Virtual reality leaps forward
It’s challenging to quantify the overall effect VR had on E3, as the new medium was sprinkled across the expo floor and behind closed doors. One at a time, E3 attendees got up close and personal with evolving hardware and new experiences across emergent platforms, often for the first time.
More than 30 VR projects were present at E3 2015, according to our friends at the popular VR Focus blog. This more than doubles the number of VR projects tracked at E3 2014.
One key thing to keep in mind when it comes to creating enjoyable high-end VR experiences is that you have to hit a consistent 90 frames-per-second, period. Oculus set that bar with the Crescent Bay headset, which along with the latest dev kit requires state-of-the-art visuals that perform beautifully on the hardware, with minimal latency. We demonstrated how to do it with our Showdown demo, and many other developers are going above and beyond that with Unreal Engine 4 now.
Just days before the show, Oculus revealed their fantastic “Half Moon” Oculus Touch controllers. We saw long lines at both their expo booth and also in their private meeting space, with the breakthrough UE4-powered ToyBox demo drumming up plenty of buzz.
I personally echo the enthusiasm. It was exhilarating to compete in games of table tennis and laser tag, shoot objects out of the sky, and control an RC vehicle — all through the Oculus Rift headset and Oculus Touch controls, which required less than a minute to master. I laughed aloud and felt the wonder of a child, shrugging off the fact that my colleagues could hear me taunting the demo lead on the other side of the room. Having attended E3 since 2001, this was one of the most memorable highlights for me yet.
In other VR news, Sony dedicated loads of expo real estate to showing off Project Morpheus, including Unreal-powered projects like CCP’s EVE: Valkyrie, Bandai Namco’s Summer Lesson, and White Lotus Interactive’s XING: The Land Beyond.
Throughout the show, publishers such as 505 Games and Maximum Games ran scores of demos for Three One Zero’s ADR1FT and Untold Games’ Loading Human, respectively. Also of note in terms of Unreal VR at E3 were nDream’s The Assembly; Sólfar Studios’ Godling; and Reload Studios’ World War Toons.
Unreal indies came to play
It’s apparent that E3 has changed — today’s tools give teams of any size a chance to compete. Independent teams are using Unreal to create extremely polished, high-production value experiences at a rapid clip.
The new King’s Quest is stunning, with its painterly feel and deep narrative. The Odd Gentlemen have done the original creators proud, expanding the cherished franchise in such a way that anyone regardless of age or taste can appreciate.
Ashen from Aurora44 Games was an incredibly refreshing surprise in the Xbox E3 Briefing. No one saw this beauty coming!
Ashen looks like a stylish indie 2D art style, in 3D… if that makes sense?
— Leeeee Perry (@MrLeePerry) June 15, 2015
Ashen has an Ico vibe and I'm feeling it. #XboxE3
— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) June 15, 2015
We can’t seem to fall out of love with The Flame in the Flood, now on its way to Xbox One in addition to PC.
Spotted at the Indie Mix event was another Kickstarter darling, Into the Stars from Fugitive Games. Catch it on our Twitch broadcast.
And, of course, our “Everything Is Awesome” Unreal E3 Award winner, ABZU from Giant Squid:
The Unreal roundup
Finally, here’s the exhaustive list of Unreal Engine-powered games spotted at E3. We tip our hats to you all. If the talent mentioned in this massive run-on paragraph is any indication of the future of games, we’re going to have really sore eyes and hands!
ABZU, ADR1FT, Alone in the Dark: Illumination, ARK: Survival Evolved, Ashen, Atom Universe, Bacon Man, Batman: Arkham Knight, Battery Jam, Battleborn, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, Bierzerkers, Blade & Soul, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Cairo’s Tale, Chronos, Dungeon Defenders II, EVE: Valkyrie, Fable Legends, Fated, Fortnite, Gears of War 4, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Gigantic, Goat Simulator: Mmore Goatz Edition, Godling, Hellblade, Henry, Into the Stars, Joe Montana Football 16, King’s Quest, Kingdom Hearts III, Life Is Strange, Loading Human, Mercenary Week, Mighty No. 9, Mortal Kombat X, Recruits, Red Goddess: Inner World, Redout, Relics of Gods, Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, Rocket League, Rumble TV, Sea of Thieves, Shape of the World, Shenmue III, Shiny, Space Hulk: Deathwing, Street Fighter V, Summer Lesson, Swing Racers, Synthesis Universe, The Assembly, The Green Means: Plastic Warfare, The Flame in the Flood, The Solus Project, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Time Machine, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5, ToyBox, Vampyr, WARP: Warriors of the Red Planet, What Remains of Edith Finch, World War Toons, XCOM 2, XING: The Land Beyond.
What, no games that start with “Z”? Let’s make this happen!
But in all seriousness, we are utterly inspired, humbled and motivated by the awesome work all of you are doing. Also, if you were at E3 and we missed you, please let us know in the comments.
Thank you for letting us be a part of it. Thank you for trusting us, and for building your dreams with Unreal.
Cheers to everyone’s continued success.
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