Epic Games and Square Enix today announced an agreement that will allow Square Enix to develop "multiple games" using Epic's Unreal Engine 3 and Unreal Engine 4 technology.
“Epic has a strong relationship with Square Enix, and it’s an honor to provide their creative and technical talent with the best game technology available for licensing,” said Taka Kawasaki, territory manager for Epic Games Japan. “We look forward to supporting their developers with world-class tools for years to come.”
Epic Games Japan worked directly with Square Enix on the licensing deal. Epic stated that the agreement will "supplement Square Enix's proprietary software and ensure the studio is armed with the most powerful game development tools and technologies available across all major platforms."
This deal makes it unclear what the future of Square Enix's own Luminous Studio engine might be. Luminous Studio was previewed earlier this year at E3, where it debuted with a beautiful Final Fantasy-inspired tech demo.
The deal also makes it perfectly clear, however, that Unreal Engine 4 will continue the Unreal Engine's legacy of being the backbone of many high-profile games. Unreal Engine 4 was also shown off at this year's E3, including a demonstration of the advanced features the engine has for developers. Last month, Epic announced a new Seattle studio that will focus on developing Unreal Engine 4.
Unreal Engine 3, which will power upcoming games such as Gears of War: Judgment and Lost Planet 3, won't be retired anytime soon, though. The engine is now being used to develop mobile games for smartphones and tablets. A demo released in August showed an Unreal Engine 3 tech demo running on a Windows 8 RT tablet.