Officials from developer Epic Games, creators of the Unreal Engine and the Unreal Tournament series of games, have announced that the company has completed the purchase of the 3D game engine Reality Engine from small U.S. company Artificial Studios.
The company has also hired the engine’s founder and lead programmer, Tim Johnson – who will join the Unreal Engine 3 development team, and whose expertise looks to be the main reason behind the acquisition. His appointment will be effective immediately as he joins Epic’s press activities at E3 next week.
The Reality Engine is a general purpose middleware solution encompassing rendering technology, physics simulation, scripting and programming, networking and artificial intelligence. Epic has purchased the Reality Engine outright, including intellectual property rights, trademarks, and copyrights.
The company does not intend to continue sales, development, or support of the Reality Engine, but will review its technologies for inclusion into Unreal Engine 3. Developers who had purchased Reality Engine licenses prior to this sale will be offered upgrades to Unreal Engine 3 at significantly discounted prices and should contact Epic for more details.
Although it has yet to be used in any published game, Unreal Engine 3 has already seen a host of developers signing up to use it, including Silicon Knights, BioWare Corp., Microsoft Game Studios and Midway. Multiple titles using the technology, and titles previously using only Reality Engine, are expected to be on show at E3.
“We’re very excited to have Tim Johnson join Epic Games,” said Epic founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney. “He brings six years of engine development experience to the Unreal Engine 3 development team, and he’s already brimming with ideas on how to improve our technology. Tim is a great fit for Epic – he clearly understands all sides of the licensing business, from engineering to customer support to business development. He will have a huge positive impact on our company and our engine licensees.”