Over half of all announced games for next-gen game consoles are being developed using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine suite of developer tools, Epic VP of engineering Nick Penwarden said in an interview with The Verge.
While that’s a small improvement from the previous 48 percent figure CEO Tim Sweeney shared in April at the launch of Unreal Engine 5, both numbers demonstrate the growing popularity of Unreal Engine for developing PS5 and Xbox Series X / S games. And it’s perhaps not too surprising that the number is trending up given that both the PS5 and Xbox Series X / S are now two years old and much easier to buy.
Penwarden didn’t specify how many developers are using which versions of Unreal Engine but noted he’s been “pleasantly surprised” at the number of studios that have brought games from UE4 over to UE5. “When we set out to build Unreal Engine 5, having that backward compatibility to be able to bring in games from UE4 was really important to us, and so it’s been really great to see developers embrace that,” Penwarden said.
One big studio is already making a big commitment to UE5
At least one major studio is already making a big commitment to UE5. In March, The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red announced it would be moving away from its proprietary REDengine to UE5 as part of a “multi-year strategic partnership.” (Perhaps the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077 had something to do with that.)
On Tuesday, Epic is releasing Unreal Engine 5.1, which includes some improvements to help developers make great-looking games that run at 60fps on PCs and next-gen consoles. Going forward, Epic’s goal is to release “several” point releases for Unreal Engine per year, Penwarden said, with a target of three for 2023.