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NCSoft has announced that they have entered a site-wide licensing deal with Epic to use the Unreal Engine 3 for a number of upcoming games, including the highly anticipated Blade & Soul.
The company sent out word that it has signed the largest licensing agreement in South-East Asia to use the Unreal Engine 3 and I'm sure the boys and girls at Epic Games are jumping up and down from joy.
Ray Park, territory manager of Epic Games Korea commented in the press release about the deal, saying...
“Equipping the brilliant creative minds at NCsoft with cutting-edge tools and features will bring even more visually stunning, high-quality entertainment to millions of players,” ... “Already having worked more than a decade with NCsoft, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation with them for many more years to come.”
Epic has been signing a number of deals in the emerging MMO-Asian territory...a territory where they lead the industry in microtransaction-based online RPGs and action titles. The company originally opened up a new studio in the South-East territories back in 2009 to cater specifically to the growing needs of the blooming MMO market.
Hyungjun Kim, vice president of NCsoft chimed in with his own response, saying...
“It has been possible for us to harness all our energy and put it toward the creativity of the games themselves by developing ‘Lineage II’ and ‘Blade and Soul’ with Unreal Engine,” ... “I believe we can pull the most out of the engine through the know-how that has accumulated through our experience with this superior game engine.”
To be completely honest I haven't been all that impressed with a lot of MMOs running on the Unreal Engine. The engine itself can produce gorgeous graphics and environments, however, most MMOs using the engine seem to be instance-based where it's not really a massive amount of players to interact with or like in the case of APB: Reloaded, the engine was bursting at the seams trying to contain all the content of an open-world, customization-heavy shooter. Maybe the upcoming NCSoft titles will prove me wrong and the UE3 may be well suited for the task of handling larger-than-life MMOs.
In the meantime you can learn more about the Unreal Engine 3 MMOs over at the Official Website or you can learn more about NCSoft's upcoming MMOs by paying a visit to their Official Website.