Mozilla Brings Unreal Engine 4 To Firefox

Developer & Design

Share this Post

HTML5 has come a long way since it was being used to render simplistic 2D scenes in a browser. Just last year, Mozilla ported Unreal Engine 3 to Firefox for complex in-browser 3D scenes. Now they're taking it one step further.

Mozilla and Epic Games announced today that the two are bringing Unreal Engine 4 to the Web through Firefox. Much like Unreal Engine 3, UE4 will run via JavaScript using Mozilla's asm.js subset. They claim that asm.js has increased the performance of Web applications to 67 percent of native and that it will get even better. The porting of Unreal Engine 4 is a testament to the power of the Web.

“This technology has reached a point where games users can jump into via a Web link are now almost indistinguishable from ones they might have had to wait to download and install,” said Brendan Eich, CTO and SVP of Engineering at Mozilla. “Using Emscripten to cross-compile C and C++ into asm.js, developers can run their games at near-native speeds, so they can approach the Web as they would any other platform.”

Here's a video showing Unreal Engine 4 running natively on Firefox without the use of plugins:

Mozilla and Epic both feel that the Web is the next great platform for games. Developers haven't exactly flocked to it just yet, but it's certainly impressive that HTML5 can handle a complex engine like Unreal Engine 4.

“We were blown away by what this Mozilla-pioneered technology achieved with Unreal Engine 3 on the Web, so we had no hesitation in working with Mozilla to port Unreal Engine 4,” said Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO, Epic Games. “We believe the Web has a crucial part to play in the future of game development and deployment, and Mozilla has proven it is the catalyst to make this happen.”

If you want to learn more about Mozilla's efforts to bring Unreal Engine 4 to the Web, you'll want to check out their booth at GDC.

Image via firefoxchannel/YouTube