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Epic Games has a Monopoly but no one seem to care

The Monopoly in question is their Unreal Game Engine. With the latest being the Unreal Engine 5.
Now you may say why would anyone care about a Game Engine Monopoly? but the truth runs deeper than that

After big huge Game Dev like CDPR say they will switch over to UE5 for the Witcher 4 instead of using their own in house REDengine i started to get worry


Now today it announced that Crystal Dynamics will also no longer use their Foundation in-house game engine but instead also switch to UE5
for their new Tomb Raider game


Is all the big 3rd party publishers and Developers gone to all Switch to UE5?
who will be the next big Dev to switch from their in house game engine to UE5?
Rockstar Games? Capcom? FromSoftware?
If so that will be bad for game engine diversity if everyone is using the same thing it will all look the same and feel the same
lastly don't forget that Tencent owned 40% of Epic Games


Thus another reason to not want a Unreal Game Engine Monopoly in the gaming industry
as Tencent/China will have their hands on everything in the Western world and that is bad for everyone
 

Dr Bass

Member
Cost of everything going way up, and that includes labor. When engineers are making 250k+, plus benefits, costs are going to need to be reined in. It does put a decent amount of power in Epic's hands. What do you expect though in economic situations like that? You have games getting bigger, requiring more people, and taking more time, with gamers getting whinier and less willing to pay for these things. Using an incredible off the shelf tool like UE5 seems almost necessary in that case.
 
Lots of devs are using ue5 simply because its far ahead everyone else, once other engines catch up, ue5 will be used far less, nothing worry about, major devs don't like paying others for their engines, once their own tools catch up, they will be back using them.
 
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onesvenus

Member
It's not a monopoly.
Most mobile games are done in Unity.
Even reducing the definition of the games market to only console/PC, most indies, which are most of the games, are built in Unity.
The only way it might look like a monopoly is if we reduce the market to AAA productions but then we have Sony not using it, Acti/Blizzard not using it, Ubisoft not using it, ...
 

SlimySnake

Member
lol. Ever heard of Unity and Crytek?

Devs are CHOOSING UE5 because its the best. They are choosing it over their OWN proprietary engines because it's better. Again, the key word is choosing.

CoD uses its own engine, All EA studios use Frostbite, All Sony studios use their own engines save for Sony Bend, Nintendo too.
 

Belthazar

Member
It's a standard solution that's easier to work with, better documented and that allows devs to spend more time actually developing the game instead of maintaining a whole engine (so games ship quicker).

About all Unreal games looking the same: lol








It's not 2009 anymore, Unreal is VERY flexible if devs spend enough time adjusting it to what they need.
 
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Guilty_AI

Gold Member
They're pretty strong in the market, but you can't really say they have a monopoly. As it was already mentioned, even within high budget productions there are loads companies using their own proprietary engine, be it Ubisoft, Sony, Activision, Microsoft...
 
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Knightime_X

Member
Why spend millions making your own engine when you're encouraged and allowed to use an engine someone else made that's great for a fraction of the cost?
There is nothing stopping other companies from doing their own thing, they just choose to go the obvious easy route.
 
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kingfey

Banned
Its a not a monopoly. Devs can make their own engine. No one is stopping them.
Epic is just offering them a service.
 
It's a standard solution that's easier to work with, better documented and that allows devs to spend more time actually developing the game instead of maintaining a whole engine (so games ship quicker).

About all Unreal games looking the same: lol








It's not 2009 anymore, Unreal is VERY flexible if devs spend enough time adjusting it to what they need.
DQ11,FF7R,Psycho naughts,LB planet/ Sackboy adventure, Hellblade All use just the base part of Unreal Most devs are going to use just more than just the base they will use the built shadow, lightings, color patted effects, phyxs ect you will get games like what

Unknown? Unknown? is talking about above brown and grey all using the same built in templates to no distinguished look between them.​

 

Hugare

Member
It's not like Epic is paying money and asking these studios to use UE 5

They are going to use it because it's great and versatile. If you dont like it, offer a better engine for people to use, but there's simply no competition today.

This whole "every game will look alike" is hilarious. The 360/PS3 generation made everyone paranoic.

The jump to HD was a tough one for many studios, so they just CTRL C + CTRL V a lot of the basic tools from Unreal's toolbox in order to deliver AAA games.

But does Mirror Edge look like Batman Arkham City? Bioshock Infinite? Dishonored? A Hat in Time?

Good studios were able to modify it to their needs.

I expect the same here. Good studios will modify it to fit their needs, while indies/AA studios will use the available assets and etc., which are way more diverse then they had before during the 360 era.

PS: your idea of monopoly is completely wrong
 
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Belthazar

Member
DQ11,FF7R,Psycho naughts,LB planet/ Sackboy adventure, Hellblade All use just the base part of Unreal Most devs are going to use just more than just the base they will use the built shadow, lightings, color patted effects, phyxs ect you will get games like what

Unknown? Unknown? is talking about above brown and grey all using the same built in templates to no distinguished look between them.​


That hasn't happened for the last decade, why is it suddenly going to start happening now? Talented devs will make good games, bad devs will not. The engine is just a tool.

This narrative that all Unreal Engine games look the same is so dumb... I mean, the thing has support to make freaking pixel art games.
 
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SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
It's like why no one goes to a tailor anymore because you can just buy mass produced clothes so much cheaper. Frankly, Unreal is just going to be better, cheaper, more flexible, and easier to find people trained with it.

A lot of gamers tend to think in "graphics engine" terms, but that's underselling Unreal's benefits. The real appeal is the suite of tools, the availability of asset libraries, the ability to iterate and test quickly, and the support staff. Doing that in-house is a huge investment and doesn't have a ton of advantages unless you're a very, very large developer.

There are exceptions of course. Insomniac has a very impressive engine that is nicely customized to their needs. But just as often things go wrong, like with Valve, CDPR, or EA's Frostbite.
 

jakinov

Member
The reason people don't care is because Epic Games earned their "monopoly" for a AAA game engine. And they make everyone life easier and better. There's nothing stopping a compeitor from coming in and making their own game engin. There's nothing stopping game developers from making their own. It's not a big deal. It's like Adobe having a monpoly in professional photo editing with Photoshop. Photoshop is a super powerful tool that keeps getting better and better and helps the industry move forward efficiently.

The only reason you seem to care is because for some reason you think that in order for games to look differnet, they need to use a differnet game engine. Which is inhernetly not true. Unreal engine is designed to be flexible enough so that a developer can do whatever they want. The reason games start to look similiar is simply because devs might use assets that come from the marketplace that another game uses; or they might abuse some sort of effect or technique from the engine (e.g. look at UE3 and how everyone used the same lighting for their realistic characters). If that happens, that's not a problem with Unreal Engine being widely used, that's a problme with people making those decisions to use those features.
 
That hasn't happened for the last decade, why is it suddenly going to start happening now? Talented devs will make good games, bad devs will not. The engine is just a tool.

This narrative that all Unreal Engine games look the same is so dumb... I mean, the thing has support to make freaking pixel art games.
Really its amazing how People can be so ignorant, almlost all third party games use unreal 4, specially japanese games like guilty gear, dragon Ball fighterz or kingdom hearts who have very uniquie artstyles

Like you say, unreal 3 games happen a decade ago, and the reason People love unreal its because how flexible it is, and if you change studios for example, and go work to another one, you wish to use unreal, instead of learning to use another motor, who probably is inferior
 

Laptop1991

Member
I'm used to the unreal engines.i played Unreal back in 98 and many games that have used it since and liked a lot of them, i personally don,t associate their engine with the epic store, also quite a few of the games looked great at the time with the various UE engines
 
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TheSHEEEP

Gold Member
There are a ton of game engines out there.
Within AAA development, Unreal Engine might be the largest chunk, yes, but far from a monopoly-like majority.
But within all other development from AA to indie (which makes up the VAST majority of games and afaik gamers as well), their share is much smaller - and shrinking due to other engines simply being better at that job.

That is so far away from an actual monopoly, I'm thinking OP just saw a handful of titles switching to UE and their world collapsed or something.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Unreal is a good solution for the problem of making a game, as it includes not only platform abstraction layers but also a full fledged editor with tons of features that are pretty much bleeding edge.

It's impossible for most developers to keep up with all the advancements of the industry, as this requires hiring people which sole job is to read research papers and implement those features in their own custom engine.

So it gives developers all those features in an accessible way. Also, it makes the process of outsourcing and hiring easier, since a lot of people are familiar with the engine.

With that said, there are reasons to worry indeed.
One thing that I've noticed is that the lighting and particles usually look the same on all UE games. After all, their goal is photorealism, so it makes sense to implement a renderer that is suited for that goal.

Unfortunately I don't know if it's developers that are lazy or if it's the engine that doesn't allow customizing the lighting parameters.
And so, even stylized games like Dragon Quest and Tales of Arise kinda end up looking similar in some ways because of the lighting and particles (even though models, textures and materials are different)

Though from what I can see, Unreal only has more influence regarding AAA and AA games.
Unity is more used than Unreal in mobile 3D games and 2D-HD games like Cuphead and Ori
GameMaker is more used in pixel art games.

So the situation is kinda balanced at the moment, each with pros and cons and different audiences.
 

Amiga

Member
Offering the best deal is the opposite of Monopoly. It's normal for a business to depended on other business.

there is Unity/CryEngine/Source for independent and mid-sized studios.

Using a 3rd party engine with full technical support frees up the studio to focus on content creation.

making a proprietary robust, minimal bug engine is the hardest most costly part of game development. you need expensive talent in a large number because if a few leave, they will take the know how with them, new programmers will need to learn from scratch. big studios like Sony have are backed by a central technical support team. Epic provide the license + technical support.
also, immature engines will need to be rebuilt a lot. Capcom struggled for years on the Panta Rhei engine before scrapping it and making the RE engine from that experience.
 

ParaSeoul

Member
It's a standard solution that's easier to work with, better documented and that allows devs to spend more time actually developing the game instead of maintaining a whole engine (so games ship quicker).

About all Unreal games looking the same: lol








It's not 2009 anymore, Unreal is VERY flexible if devs spend enough time adjusting it to what they need.
From devs who know the engine. A lot of ones inexperienced with it still have that unreal look. Although thats probably more to do with them than the engine. Theres a lot unreal probably isn't suitable for.
 

Bo_Hazem

Gold Dealer
Should we blame them for making their main focus is making a universal engine that makes everyone happy with reasonable pricing? Talent seems to be scarce now so building your own engine isn't possible with every studio. So is Windows and MacOS a monopoly now? Why not go for Linux then? It's just a choice. Sony is preparing the Decima engine to be their unified engine and to fit for smaller studios they have their. Bend Studio was going from UE4 to Decima for DG2 according to that dev on Jaffe's podcast, and they're using it in their new game now. Death Stranding used it. Returnal devs suffered a lot with UE4 and they weren't satisfied with the bugs and headaches they had with it that made them settle for 1080p.

We should celebrate UE5, not fight it. Or you can enjoy Unity then.
 

stevish

Neo Member
There's something about crytek engine games that look better, at least in some scenarios. kingdom come deliverance looks stunning at times.
 

CartesianMan

Neo Member
In house engines will be used in future. Jumping from one tech to other cost a lot of money and time.
Usually the tech dudes from the studio are choosing the engine for the project.

Overall Unity is more popular based on amount of games that are using it.
Unreal is better for AAA games - it delivers all the neсеssаry tools to create high budget games from the get go.
For Asian studios Unreal has the best documentation and translated tutorials and that makes it the favorite engine there.

It sad that UE5 does nothing for small indie devs. If they add C# support I can easily see how all the Indies will jump there.
For artists UE is the best to create the scenes.

The other advantage that UE have compare to in-house engines is that in-house engines are pretty bad in terms of user experience and had a lot of semi finished tech.
Usually some tools are working just barely to cover the feature, and they are ugly and hacky.
Some tech is started for one project but the programmer left and nobody knows how to finished it.
The new programmer usually prefer to start from the beginning instead to finish what is started.
If they didn't have the time eventually will patchwork what is started and that's it.
 

Skifi28

Member
That's like saying apple has a monopoly on apple products, I wonder why. As long as there are many engines out there, it's not a monopoly.
 
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