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Unreal Engine 3 has completely dominated the middle-ware (software created to help developers create games) market since it debuted on the scene with the original Gears of War. Dozens (if not hundreds) of games have utilized UE3, making it something of an industry standard.
Its successor, Unreal Engine 4, is drawing eyes not just for its capabilities, but also because it will almost certainly become the new standard within a few years, which has a large effect on the direction of the gaming industry.
What really matters though is the games. And today Joystiq published a video interview with Mark Rein, a vice president at Epic, in which he says we'll definitely be seeing Unreal Engine 4 by the end of next year.
"For sure something next year, I just don’t know exactly when,” Rein said. ”Until we’re really clear on when the game is going to be finished, when the partner wants to put in the sand and market it, we don’t really have those kind of dates.”
He also remarked that Epic themselves will be leading this pack with their own titles. "It’s certainly important for us to have our flagship game. That’s the game for which we develop the engine. Gears of War was the game for which Unreal Engine 3 was developed, and so shipping that has a huge significance for licensees and for us. I think, for Unreal Engine 4, there’ll certainly be a couple of games.”
Which games will these be? Likely not Gears of War, considering Judgment has already been revealed. Maybe a return to Unreal Tournament? Or perhaps Fortnite?