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Epic Games has a Monopoly but no one seem to care

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

You don't seem to understand what a game engine is.

A game engine is a suite of development tools that encompasses more than just a renderer. Devs can use UE5 and develop their own renderer to create their own unique look to their game. Many in fact, don't even need to do this and can use the pre-existing UE renderer but still create a vastly different aesthetic than other games.

I mean, are you really trying to claim that Fortnite looks like Gears of War?

There are becoming increasingly fewer and fewer downsides to working with a mature middleware engine like UE than trying unsuccessfully to maintain your own in-house tech. For one, new hires will be more likely to be experienced with UE, whereas an in-house engine will be all new to them and provide a pretty steep learning curve. With Unreal you benefit from hundreds of millions of lines of Unreal users' submitted code, where with in-house tech you're writing almost everything from scratch yourself.

Epic also gives access to the engine source code, so devs can get into the weeds and fully debug their games without issue.

Epic has made free versions of the engine and licensing terms that are essentially a tiny pill to swallow for the kind of money AAA games generate.

It's a middleware application. So UE's ubiquity is more akin to the ubiquity of Windows rather than a monopoly that actually harms competition and innovation across the industry. I would argue that it's much better than windows since MS has been documented trying to use windows as a vehicle to monopolise other application categories like Internet browsers, whereas Epic has done nothing but offer more and more value and state of the art tech to users of UE in order to make games development significantly cheaper than it would have been without UE's comprehensive toolsuite.
 

Ladioss

Member
As long as they don't abuse their monopolistic position and anybody can use it, it should be fine.
Also, alternatives do exist (even if not at the same level of convenience than UE), and people can still develop their own engines.
 

Topher

Gold Member
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

Dude......you are posting on a forum using technology that more than likely has a ton of components made in China. Rushing past all of that Chinese made stuff you own to point fingers at Epic is a bit absurd, don't you think?

For the record, I have not a fan of Epic, but if we are going to start judging companies that have business dealings with China then they are way down the list.
 
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I do. Many of the classics from the older days of gaming used their own unique engines or at least customized the existing ones for unique feel/identity mechanically and graphically. This recent UE5 news and how many studios are using it does concern me because contrary to what some think, they do result in less diverse games to a degree. I can practically see when a game uses Unreal Engine, and for games that I pay for it's annoying to see they behave the same on a visual level because the gameplay underneath could be different, say KH3 vs. Bloodstained ROTN
 
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.
The SDK includes a lot of assets and shaders, if you use those you'll end up with a generic game. The issue is when devs switch engines and plot to undercut those costs at the same time.

First time you use a new engine there's usually a big investment, as flexible as UE is you need to implement your workflow and dependencies if the ones supplied are not ideal and development usually takes longer.
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.
There was indeed a "look" that UE3 was prone to achieving on X360/PS3, but it was as you said a mix of factors. For starters X360 and PS3 were quite RAM deprived so one solution is reducing color depth which actually helps twice, it helps on source textures color depth (reducing space taken on RAM, HDD or DVD/Bluray) and masks lower color depth buffers and even some dithering.

It was preferable for devs at the time, specially seeing games like Gears of War and Call of Duty 4 getting away with it to go with the sepia look. It was also something that was already in motion looking in the prior generation, "realistic games" were already going for sepia overtones due to ram constraints as well. Also remember that Xbox 360 was stuck with DVD's, PS3 didn't have that problem but it's RAM pool design meant less memory for textures/graphics which further increased the bottleneck for multiplatform games. (read: textures had to both fit on DVD's courtesy of X360 and had to fit in 256 MB counting with the framebuffer courtesy of the PS3)

The direct alternative, which is saturating the palette would create visible artefacts (think jpg compression and chroma subsampling) which is what happened with Bioshock Infinite and Dishonored to a fault. Mirror's Edge sidestepped this nicely though, most likely with b&w texture work and overlays or tinting.

It doesn't help that indeed UE3 was more RAM hungry than more barebones engines meant for previous-gen games that got updated and that meant less RAM for colorful textures. IMO, other engines had a better balance on that front but even then the difference was not huge in hindsight.

I feel that's still true, UE4/5 is still more demanding than other engines, which is why it's seldom used for mobile and underpowered consoles like the Switch (and when it is, it shows), but we're getting to a point on home consoles that it doesn't matter as much (on the texture side of things it already didn't matter with PS4/Xbox One). Plus the investment to support PS5/XSX with "next gen tech" that pushes boundaries is probably steep and Unreal Engine 5 seems like it might have an advantage, specially if Nanite reaches usable state in third party development.

I prefer a healthy engine/dev tool market with lots of competition (which is in fact at risk), but fact is Unreal Engine has no direct competitors that match their investment and independent status. But Epic is not at fault for the ineptitude of others, I haven't seem monopolistic plays done by them, like buying a competitor to close them or something.
 
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oldergamer

Member
the issue here is epic = bad.

at least that's the narrative on here. same goes for microsoft.
Thats the general way people look at things on GAF. Microsoft is bad no matter what they do. epic is good when they put out a demo on ps5 first and no longer good when the same tech is shown on Xbox later. We saw that with people claiming there was some kind of downgrade after it was shown on xbox.
 
Who care about epics position amongst the other engines? The real tragedy is that a chinese company is allowed to goble up 4(9?) percent of the company's shares. This is a gift rapped money funnel into the chinese regime. Appalling.
Look at how difficult it is to cut out Russia from the world economy now try to do it with China.

The Chinese are 1.5 billion people, as soon as Mao died and the Chinese rejoined the global capitalist economy it was inevitable.
 

brian0057

Member
Being the one with the largest market share doesn't make you a monopoly.
And even if it did, it isn't inherently bad.

As much as I hate Epic Games and their chickanery, owning and licensing Unreal Engine, and the majority of games using said engine, is them being successful at their job.
And being successful is not a crime.
This also applies to Valve owning Steam and it being the most popular game launcher.
 
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To everyone who thinks it's impossible for a game engine to be a monopoly, look up natural monopoly. You can have a monopoly without others being "forced" to use your product/service. In the case of a game engine, all that would mean is that the cost to benefit ratio for the majority of developers to internally create their own engines is higher than the cost to benefit ratio of using the natural monopoly's engine. So yes, in theory, Epic can hold a monopoly over the market.

That said, market share for UE is only 13% according to his article from October 2021: UE vs Unity which means it is not close to approaching monopoly status.
 

iamvin22

Industry Verified
Same could be said about the render ware engine but no one complained and devs were happy at least from what I was told.
 

dezzy8

Member
It's not really a monopoly. There are tons of other developers that use their own engine. Epic isn't really stopping anyone else from making their own engine. They just have the most popular and user-friendly engine out there. It's only right a majority of developers use them.
 

yurinka

Member
Devs are free to use other engines available in the market or can even make their own ones. Nobody stops them.

Many devs prefer instead to use UE because it's a great product, that offers a great deal in terms of pricing specially to small indies and newbies: a lot of stuff is free. Plus there is a huge community of devs making stuff for it and offering a lot of it for free. And if desired devs can change some specific part of UE if they think they can improve it, because have access to its source code.

It's very popular so it's easy to hire devs who know how to use it, unlike with in-house propietary engines that every new hired dev needs to learn to use it. In addition to this, UE is very powerful and complete. In-house engines can't compete with all the features and content that Epic offers.
 
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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
I think that they needed to switch after what happened to cyberpunk 2077... A lot of the studios that end up switching do it because they figure out the hard way that they don't have the resources or skills to keep up with the big engines.


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
Nope, games don't have to use the engine's built-in assets (however small and indie studios will definitely have to go down this road a lot).

Also, unity still exists, Crytek also. Having a market leader is fine.

Another benefit to uniformity (probably a reason some big studios switch) is familiarity, kids download unreal engine, fiddle with it, follow tutorials, build a portfolio and get a job. Many go to school and learn it there as well. If everyone uses the same engine it's easier to bring in new people and even if it had a couple of drawbacks compared to other tools sometimes familiarity more than make up for it.
Tencent/China will have their hands on everything in the Western world and that is bad for everyone
Don't they already? We should definitely get away from this, not embrace it. However, we are not starting from a purity position, this ship sailed back in the 70s.
 

ethomaz

Banned
Is it really monopoly?
Most games are not make in UE.

For example Steam 2021.

Unity: 25
Unreal: 6
Game Maker: 4
RPG Maker: 2
Custom: 9
Other: 4

And across all game sun Steam:

Unity
28608
Unreal
7323
GameMaker
3022
RPGMaker
2064
RenPy
1334
XNA
579
Godot
446
Adobe AIR
401
Cocos2d
343
MonoGame
288
KiriKiri
236
Construct
208
Lime OR OpenFL
143
Source
135
AdventureGameStudio
126
FNA
116
OGRE
114
CryEngine
110
Love2D
87
Torque
83
BlenderGameEngine
80
Solar2D
67
TelltaleTool
49
PlayFirstPlayground
46
WolfRPGEditor
46
idTech3
39
Wintermute
37
Marmalade
29
ChromeEngine
28
Bitsquid
27
Frostbite
21
Prism3D
19
GoldSource
17
Clausewitz
14
Defold
14
Kex
13
Build
13
Source2
12
Virtools
12
HaemimontSol
10
VisionaireStudio
10
idTech1
9
HashLink
9
Heaps
9
idTech4
8
SCI
8
idTech6
8
Pico8
8
Unigine
7
idTech2 5
6
idTech5
6
idTech0
5
Aurora
5
AGI
5
RAGE
5
Snowdrop
5
Infinity
4
Danmakufu
3
Flexi
2
idTech2
1
Phyre
1
idTech7
1
 
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IFireflyl

Member
I am very vocal about my hatred for Epic Games, but this thread is pretty ridiculous. If someone makes a great product and other people chose to use that product instead of attempting to build a competing product then that's a successful product. It's not something people should get up in arms over.

In conclusion:
  • The company Epic Games is garbage-tier and I hate them.
  • The CEO of Epic Games is a trash-wombat.
  • Unreal Engine is a great product that has helped many developers make great games. It is not a big, scary monopoly.
 

MiguelItUp

Member
Lmao, not a monopoly at all.

Did you forget about the time where a ton of games were made in UE3 and UE4? It was a great looking engine. If Epic continues to create engines that both look amazing and perform well, I'd fully expect devs to hop onboard. I mean, Epic clearly makes great engines.

One of my pals works at a dev that's been using UE5 for awhile, and he had nothing but absolutely glowing things to say about it.

It just sucks because I'm really starting to hate Epic as a company these days more and more. After they scrapped UT, I feel like they just continued to plummet for me.
 

AmuroChan

Member
It's mostly going to be AAA games that would use UE5. They constitute a very small percentage of the overall market. For every AAA game, there are 100 indie and non-AAA games.
 

Fafalada

Fafracer forever
The Monopoly in question is their Unreal Game Engine. With the latest being the Unreal Engine 5.
If you combine UE5 with all the other existing commercial (and heck, throw open-source in there too) license-able engines on the market, they probably just barely reach around 10% of Unity userbase.
Though it doesn't mean this couldn't turn around - if UE keeps making inroads they've had in recent year or so - but no, they're not in any position to be a monopoly - 'yet'.
 

Comandr

Member
Man and here I am leaning hard in the other direction. After playing the matrix demo I think UE5 is flat out fucking magic. I can’t stand Epic as a company but I can separate the art from the artist here. I want more studios to switch to unreal
 

Katajx

Member
Look at the types of games that happened to be made in Unreal.

Then look at what was made with Frostbite.
 

Fbh

Gold Member
Not even close to being a monopoly. And if they've made a product that allows devs to be more productive and deal with less technical issues then good on them.

Maintaining and supporting a custom engine is a ton of work. It seems like more often than not when a game launches half broken, with missing features or some other issues we end up learning that the studio spent half the dev time struggling with the engine.
 

hevy007

Banned
The SDK includes a lot of assets and shaders, if you use those you'll end up with a generic game. The issue is when devs switch engines and plot to undercut those costs at the same time.

First time you use a new engine there's usually a big investment, as flexible as UE is you need to implement your workflow and dependencies if the ones supplied are not ideal and development usually takes longer.

There was indeed a "look" that UE3 was prone to achieving on X360/PS3, but it was as you said a mix of factors. For starters X360 and PS3 were quite RAM deprived so one solution is reducing color depth which actually helps twice, it helps on source textures color depth (reducing space taken on RAM, HDD or DVD/Bluray) and masks lower color depth buffers and even some dithering.

It was preferable for devs at the time, specially seeing games like Gears of War and Call of Duty 4 getting away with it to go with the sepia look. It was also something that was already in motion looking in the prior generation, "realistic games" were already going for sepia overtones due to ram constraints as well. Also remember that Xbox 360 was stuck with DVD's, PS3 didn't have that problem but it's RAM pool design meant less memory for textures/graphics which further increased the bottleneck for multiplatform games. (read: textures had to both fit on DVD's courtesy of X360 and had to fit in 256 MB counting with the framebuffer courtesy of the PS3)

The direct alternative, which is saturating the palette would create visible artefacts (think jpg compression and chroma subsampling) which is what happened with Bioshock Infinite and Dishonored to a fault. Mirror's Edge sidestepped this nicely though, most likely with b&w texture work and overlays or tinting.

It doesn't help that indeed UE3 was more RAM hungry than more barebones engines meant for previous-gen games that got updated and that meant less RAM for colorful textures. IMO, other engines had a better balance on that front but even then the difference was not huge in hindsight.

I feel that's still true, UE4/5 is still more demanding than other engines, which is why it's seldom used for mobile and underpowered consoles like the Switch (and when it is, it shows), but we're getting to a point on home consoles that it doesn't matter as much (on the texture side of things it already didn't matter with PS4/Xbox One). Plus the investment to support PS5/XSX with "next gen tech" that pushes boundaries is probably steep and Unreal Engine 5 seems like it might have an advantage, specially if Nanite reaches usable state in third party development.

I prefer a healthy engine/dev tool market with lots of competition (which is in fact at risk), but fact is Unreal Engine has no direct competitors that match their investment and independent status. But Epic is not at fault for the ineptitude of others, I haven't seem monopolistic plays done by them, like buying a competitor to close them or something.
Have you guys ever even used Unreal? it does not come with many assets or shaders, where did you get this from. There's barebones example shaders like 5 of them lol and that's about it, where do y'all get this nonsense from???..you have free templates/projects and the marketplace where you can get additional stuff but that's a different thing altogether.
 
Have you guys ever even used Unreal? it does not come with many assets or shaders, where did you get this from. There's barebones example shaders like 5 of them lol and that's about it, where do y'all get this nonsense from???..you have free templates/projects and the marketplace where you can get additional stuff but that's a different thing altogether.
I didn't. I read it over the years that they were making libraries available with such things.

I accept that I am wrong if you say so.

EDIT: Thank you for pointing that out, I stand corrected.
 
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You'd be hard pressed to get anyone on board with this idea. Often times it's not just market share that constitutes a monopoly, a lot of it falls onto the means at which is achieved and maintained. Back handed deals, strong arming vendors, stuff like that would make it such.
 

Jigsaah

Gold Member
It's not every day you get the most powerful engine at a cost that saves you money. Ease of use, Efficiency and Quality, cost saving...that's not a monopoly, that just Epic kicking everybody's ass.
 
Market share doesn’t equal monopoly, I think they’d have to start acquiring other engines and bringing those under the epic umbrella for that to count.
 

Larogue

Member
I don't think so. If anything, there are more games made using Unity than Unreal engine, because the latter is more advanced and might be an overkill for small studios.
 
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Deerock71

Member
imagine a Monopoly game made with this monopoly engine.
Ray traced doggo piece constructed out of 1 trillion polys.
Sesame Street Fainting GIF
 

Griffon

Member
UE5 seems to fit for big AAA studios. But for everybody else it's a wash between that and Unity and plenty of other solutions (custom or others).

No single engine can fit everybody's need. It seems Epic is going extra hard on the AAA and Asian market, but that's about it really.
 
They provide the best product so people utilize it...other options are out there...its not a monopoly. if they stated buying up unity, Crytec etc then they'd be a monopoly. Unity looks like its really stepping its game up too.
 

kevm3

Member
The reality is that producing 3d engines from scratch is extremely expensive, time consuming and risky. A lot of games that came out probably would have never seen release if the developers were required to build some custom 3d engine. Also, it is very time consuming and expensive for companies to try to onboard new developers to use their proprietary tools
 

kiphalfton

Member
Yes because it makes perfect sense to use your own in-house engine for every game. Also it’s not like using a proprietary in-house game engine will hinder these developers if they go ever somewhere else. Never.
 

zaanan

Banned
1) Epic does not have a monopoly.
2) Even if they did, it’s not illegal to have a monopoly. Illegality occurs when a company acts anti-competitively to *maintain* a monopoly. See the DOJ vs Microsoft case for example.
 

Rykan

Member
This is quite a thread fail. Is that why the OP abandoned it?
OP should have known how we feel 'bout them libs and their "Forced Engine Diversity" Woke nonsense thats RUINING video games. I hate it when game devs use another engine just for the sake of "Engine Diversity" to appeal to the woke mob.

Seriously. I have seen so many people say they won't buy Hogwarts Legacy, probably because it's running on Unreal. Those people are killing video games.
 

AJUMP23

Gold Member
Star Citizen hasn’t started using unreal yet. It is still on lumberyard. And it is the biggest game that hasn’t been made.
 
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