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Russia Allegedly Developing Its Own Unreal Engine 5 Competitor

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

As ubiquitous as Unreal Engine may be in this day and age, there's at least one global superpower that wishes to steer clear of its grasp: Russia. In what looks to be an attempt at diversifying its tech portfolio and setting itself apart from any software kits from the West, the Russian Ministry of Digital Development has seemingly become interested in the development of a domestic video game engine to compete with industry giants.

The need for a new, locally developed game engine has been described as "important and urgent," though it comes with the obvious caveat of production cost. Namely, the Russian government would need to spend "billions of rubles over many years" to see the engine fully produced and ready for use, though it's worth remembering that funding may be an issue now that game piracy has been legalized in Russia, effectively invalidating the industry, to begin with. Anton Gorelkin, the vice-chairman of the Information Policy Committee, has even requested that Russia blocks access to Unreal Engine within its borders.

It's not particularly difficult to understand why the Russian government might be interested in setting itself apart from its Western competitors. The Russian invasion of Ukraine had decimated the country's economy to the point where Roblox currency was worth more than the Ruble. If the sources reporting on this matter are correct, then it stands to reason that the Russian Ministry of Digital Development has grown suspicious of the domestic developers' reliance on Western software, and would take steps to reduce it.

Though Epic Games blocked its commerce with Russia early on, the company deliberately left open access to its toolkits and products. This was to facilitate an open line of dialogue for as long as possible, which may well have been one of the reasons why Gorelkin would be interested in blacklisting Epic and its services. Russian game developers may also be concerned that they will lose access to game engines such as Unreal and Unity in due time, effectively leaving them behind as the global gaming industry marches on.
 

winjer

Member
Season 9 Lol GIF by The Office


Russia, always over-promising. Always under-delivering.
 

Dream-Knife

Member
The ruble has been that low since 2014. It's currently 0.017, and it was at the same level in March of 2015. Since march 2022 it has gone up from 0.015. It was 0.042 in 2008 though.

A 2022 USD is worth 0.86 USD in 2019, so perhaps that's why.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Original source:

Rough Google translation:
A Kommersant source close to the government said that a number of major players in the Russian IT market, including VK, are discussing with the Ministry of Digital Development the prospects for developing a domestic game engine (a video game development tool) and the possibility of allocating state funding for it. The Ministry of Digital Development confirmed to Kommersant that they are “discussing with relevant market players the issue of the need for state support in terms of creating their own game engine and its relevant forms.” According to Kommersant, the issue is supervised by Deputy Minister Maxim Parshin. VK did not comment on the situation.

According to a Kommersant source close to discussing the new initiative, it is still difficult to evaluate the project: “We plan to gather developers and in the future receive an approximate terms of reference from them in order to understand the scope of work and deadlines.” An interlocutor close to the government adds that the possibility of using the RFRIT grant support mechanism is being considered. The fund says that so far no applications for support for such a project have been received.

Deputy General Director of Innotech Dina Gaizatullina confirms that state support for the development of the engine "with a competent approach to paperwork and taking into account the requirements of the grant competition" can be obtained from RFRIT and similar funds. “The RFRRIT grant “for the development of a domestic IT solution” usually amounts to 20-500 million rubles, but can reach 6 billion rubles. for high profile projects. To obtain it, it is necessary to prove the compliance of the solution with the priority areas of support, among which there are gaming services, ”the expert clarifies.

For the first time, the question of the need to develop a Russian engine was raised on May 18 at a closed meeting of officials from the presidential administration (AP) with representatives of the gaming industry. Market participants said that now development is being carried out on foreign Unreal Engine and Unity, access to which may be limited (see Kommersant of May 20).

The idea received support in the State Duma: on June 28, deputy Anton Gorelkin wrote in his Telegram channel that he had sent a proposal to the Ministry of Digital Development to discuss with the market the mechanisms for creating the engine. It is also considered reasonable in the state-controlled Rostelecom, where the development of the game engine is called "an important and urgent task."

The producer of a major game studio admits that "it is possible to create your own engine, although it is time-consuming and expensive." The main problem, the interlocutor of Kommersant clarifies, is that over the long period of their existence, an ecosystem of ready-made logical blocks (graphic and sound cores, file system), assets (these are, for example, ready-made models of game items) and plugins (allow you to integrate third-party software into development tools). “The new project will not have all this, so the main question for the government is: is it ready to invest billions of rubles over the years in the development and improvement of the ecosystem?” - emphasizes the source of "Kommersant".

Sergey Matusevich, Director of Web Technologies Development at Artezio, adds that it is necessary to provide training for specialists who will work with the engine: “And here a very important point arises that the authors of such projects do not take into account - how many developers want to specialize in new tools? The value of developers, for example, on the Unreal Engine on the market is high, there are a lot of projects on it.” In addition, game engines need the support of video card manufacturers who optimize their work, the expert notes. It is far from obvious that Nvidia or AMD will want to adapt their products to the new Russian tool.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
I just wish journalists stopped writing deceitful headlines. From the original source:

  • They talked with Russian developers about such possibility, so there's nothing being developed yet
  • They mention Unity and Unreal as examples of what is most often used by developers, no mentions of "competitor to Unreal 5"
  • They raise a lot of questions about GPU support, training, funding and other issues that need to be taken into account before such project is realized
 

RaySoft

Member
Edit: Russia has far more importaint matters to attend to than copying a gameengine...

Mods: Sry, I messed up somehow. pls delete above post
 
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Exede

Member
So this is quietly a VR training environment for Soldiers? Fuck this war. I would not buy a single game developed with this engine!
 
HAHAHA.
You are expecting this game engine to actually "compete" with the current crop of engines?
Why not? Because never has anybody accomplished to put pressure on a market leader? Because Russian programmers are magically all dumber than American ones? Given a good effort a Russian company should be able to pull it off, it may take 10 to 20 years but they'll get there eventually.
 

Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
Why not? Because never has anybody accomplished to put pressure on a market leader? Because Russian programmers are magically all dumber than American ones? Given a good effort a Russian company should be able to pull it off, it may take 10 to 20 years but they'll get there eventually.
How would this engine take on Unreal, Unity, Cry, Unigine in its first iteration with literally no community support?
Unigine is barely making a dent but its gaining ground due to community.
Unity will fall off but what got Unity so high is community support.
You really think any Universities are gonna say lets switch to Unrealsky Engine?
You really think any indies are looking to switch to an engine with no community support.

Mate this engine aint competing with nobody.
 

Whitecrow

Gold Member
Nothing will be developed. Game engines take a lot of effort time and knowledge.
Even if they manage to make something half decent, any engine already out there will wipe the floor with it. But Russia is not known for having smart people.
 

kuncol02

Member
Because Russian programmers are magically all dumber than American ones
UE is made by developers from all around the world and by statistics it will have more smarter people working on it (they simply have bigger pool to chose from). It's also made by company with funding way exceeding whatever Russians can throw on their project (and that's not taking into account russian state corruption). Epic also has access to hardware and APIs information before it goes public, they also in some ways have control over what technologies will be included in future hardware and software (it was Epic who pushed MS to put 512mb of RAM into X360).
And what about 25 years of experience, existing codebase and tools they already have.
Even EA with all the funding they have cannot make game engine that is functional enough to be used in various types of games without being detrimental to development process and games quality.
 

winjer

Member
Why not? Because never has anybody accomplished to put pressure on a market leader? Because Russian programmers are magically all dumber than American ones? Given a good effort a Russian company should be able to pull it off, it may take 10 to 20 years but they'll get there eventually.

It took decades of development to reach to where UE5 is.
And along the way, many competitors have fallen. Some for lack of technical expertise, some for lack of funds, some for internal politics.
For example, in the late 90s, early 2000´s the Quake 3 engine was putting a fight with UE. But today id game engines are only used in house.
Cry-engine was once a competitor. But it also lost the battle. Now almost no one uses it.
Frostbite was supposed to be the game engine for all EA games, but it was so difficult to work with, it caused problems to several games. Including as recent as BF 2042.
Red Engine, now has been abandoned in favor of UE5.
And the list of companies shifting to UE is just increasing.

Epic was selling games and licenses to it's engine for decades, which financed the development of more and more features. Not just graphics, but also interface, compilers, etc.
Unless this Russian company can get billions of support, for a couple of decades, they don't really stand much of a chance.

Then there is the work with companies like Sony, MS, AMD, nVidia, Intel, Apple, ARM. Each of these companies provide important information about how the hardware works. How the API and drivers work.
Without this close collaboration, it's a guessing job, until something works right.
Russia isolated in tech terms, won't be able to do much without support.

We must also remember that Russia is banned from receiving high end hardware. Of course they'll get some through some black market channels. But it will be in limited numbers.
This will limit Russia's ability to create large studios.
 
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