How Epic fit the Unreal Engine into Apple’s iPhone

Apple Online Store“Getting one of the most advanced 3D game engines onto the iPhone has not been an easy task for Epic Games. But they’re close to getting into the hands of developers, and gamers alike,” Josh Lowensohn reports for CNET. “The makers of the Unreal Engine now say they’ve kept approximately 90 percent of the code from the PC version, but that process of getting it from PC to Mac, then to the iPhone has been cumbersome.”

“The Unreal Engine is what powers many of today’s popular PC and console titles like Gears of War, BioShock, Mass Effect, and of course Epic’s Unreal Tournament,” Lowensohn reports. “What the company builds for its own games, it then licenses out, meaning other publishers can use it on their own titles. The company also has a development kit, which anyone can use (not just big studios), then sell their games for a small fee and a chunk of any revenues. In that regard, it’s in the company’s benefit to get it ready as something it can sell to other developers, as well as port in-house titles out as iPhone games.”

Lowensohn reports, “Epic Games’ senior console programmer Josh Adams did show off a working version of UE3 running on an iPhone 3GS, though he would not say when the first crop of games that have been built using it will end up in consumer’s hands. The good news at least, is that the tech demo he showed off was running at a solid 24-30 frames per second, a number that could get a bump on the iPad’s beefier processor, and whatever hardware improvements Apple bakes into its next iPhone and iPod revisions.”

Much more in the full article here.


  1. This is Good.

    Gaming itself is of no interest to me.

    The fact that gamers drive the improvement of platforms is good for all of us, especially in graphic intensive science, engineering, and design fields where hardware (and some elements of software) would be far more expensive without the mass market provided by all the gamers.

  2. What’s exciting is not that it could be done, but that Epic took the time to do it because they see $$$ on the iPhone/iPad platform as opposed to Android, Palm, WinMO, etc.

    I wonder what all the PSP/DS freakatoids will come up with now when they want to talk smack about the iPod touch?

  3. All of these Window PC box makers have to be panicking as more and more of the Windows PC only products flee the Microsoft sinking ship!

    This ship is sinking much faster than people realize. Keep in mind that last years PC growth was largely driven by those netbooks. The iPad will crush them this year.

    If you can’t see the Microsoft ship sinking it is because you are standing on the ship. It is time to leave that sinking virus infected ship!

  4. I’m not a gamer, but it sounds like they first had to port their engine to Mac to get it to iPhone — if so, then the iPhone is causing more Mac games to be developed, since the engine is now on Mac as well.

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