One of gaming’s leading design toolsets is throwing its support behind Google’s new virtual reality project.
Epic Games announced during the Google I/O event today that it is launching support for its Unreal Engine 4 game-design suites for Google Daydream, the company’s new mobile virtual reality platform. Epic has shown support before for virtual reality with its impressive Bullet Train demo for Oculus Rift. It has created a new demo for Daydream, which shows how a game designer can take advantage of the platform’s wireless motion controller.
Unreal Engine 4 also works with Samsung Gear VR, Google’s chief competitor in mobile VR. Unreal Engine is one of the most popular tools used by developers, thanks to its graphical fidelity and ease of use. It working with Google Daydream could be a big boon for the new platform. The potential market for VR is $30 billion by 2020 on all platforms, advisory firm Digi-Capital forecasts. Right now, Samsung Gear VR has a big headstart on the mobile side of the emerging business, so Google can use Epic’s help.
“At Epic our mission is to give developers the very best tools for building immersive and visually impressive experiences with great performance on every platform we support,” Kim Libreri, Epic Games’ chief technology officer, noted in a blog post on the company’s site. “We have been creating VR experiences for many years now that not only push visual fidelity but what’s possible in terms of input, interaction, characters and gameplay mechanics.”
Epic Games created the Unreal Engine 4 plugin for Daydream with help from Hardsuit Labs, a developer that has used Unreal for games like the PlayStation 4 and PC shooter Blacklight: Retribution.
Most gamers know the Unreal Engine for its use in PC and console games, typically graphically demanding titles like shooters and open-world experiences. Unreal Engine 4 will also power upcoming blockbusters like Epic’s own Gears of War 4 and Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII Remake. UE4 can also create cinematic experiences, which can translate well to virtual reality.