BioWare licensing Unreal 3.0 engine

Jade Empire developer will base an unnamed game on Epic's next-gen technology.

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In a move few expected, two of the most respected names in game development teamed up today. BioWare announced it has struck a deal with Epic Games to license its Unreal 3.0 engine. Apparently, the deal was sealed some time ago, because "a BioWare development team is already hard at work on the Unreal Engine 3-powered game," read a joint statement from the two companies.

While the developer already has two high-profile games in the works--Jade Empire and Dragon Age--the Unreal engine will be used for "an as yet unannounced title, which features BioWare’s third new intellectual property." The joint statement revealed nothing about which platforms the game would be released on. "One of our development teams will now focus on using Unreal Engine 3 to help us create a great gaming experience in a timely manner," said BioWare co-CEO Dr. Ray Muzyka.

However, just because BioWare is licensing the Unreal engine doesn't mean that it is stopping work on its own proprietary game technology. Both Jade Empire and Dragon Age will run on BioWare-made engines, and the company "will continue to independently develop [its] own cutting-edge engine technology for future titles," mentioned co-CEO Dr. Greg Zeschuk.

For a look at what the Unreal 3.0 engine can do, check out GameSpot's coverage of its demo from this year's E3.

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