Grounding Incorporated announced today that they are yet another Asian developer taking full advantage of Epic’s Japanese studio. The developer has licensed the Unreal Engine 3 for the upcoming Xbox 360 Kinect game, tentatively titled Project Draco.

Yukio Futatsugi, director at Grounding commented about the project, saying…
“Because this is Grounding’s first high-definition game, we looked at many technology options and picked Unreal Engine 3 as the best solution,” ... “We began development in September 2010 when Microsoft first announced the title. While our team size is only 15 people and we had merely one year from the start of the project, the productive tools and efficient processes of Unreal Engine 3 meant we could come up with a high-quality playable demo in a very short time.”

The game itself is an action-packed dragon riding game for the Xbox Live Arcade. It utilizes Kinect for simple gameplay controls and is basically the Xbox 360’s answer to Factor 5 Studios’ Lair on the PlayStation 3 or perhaps a re-invention of Sega's Panzer Dragoon for the current generation of console gaming. The game is less than a year away from release but Futatsugi isn’t worried about that, saying…
“While none of our team had experience with the Unreal Engine before, the devoted support of Epic Games Japan ensured a very smooth development process. We feel like there's an invisible teammate named ‘Unreal’ sitting with us. With crunch time coming up, it's reassuring to have such a dependable partner on our side.”

Taka Kawasaki, territory manager of Epic Games Japan believes that the Unreal Engine 3 was the perfect choice for Project Draco and that the engine helps leverage what Grounding Inc. is aiming to achieve with their dragon riding sim, comparing it to other great arcade adventure titles such as Phantom Dust and Panzer Dragoon Orta.

Project Draco is set for release in early 2012 exclusively for the Xbox 360 on XBLA. You can learn more about the Unreal Engine 3 by visiting the Official Website.

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