Unreal Engine 3 now playable in Flash

Casual games just got a whole lot more hardcore, with Epic Games today announcing that the Unreal Engine 3 will run quite happily inside Flash. The news was illustrated by Epic CEO, Founder and Technical Director Tim Sweeney, who happily played a version of Unreal Tournament 3, inside a browser window running Flash Player 11.

…and before you throw your hands up and assume that the technology is currently out of your reach, think again – Flash Player 11 was launched to the public yesterday, so it’s all yours.

We’d heard inklings that there would be something exciting on the way from Epic, but never would have guessed this. The win/win situation sees Unreal Engine take another step in its evolution, optimised to a point now where it can be used on just about any computer, while Flash is now capable of running triple-A gaming content.

Sweeney explains:

With UE3 and Flash, games built for high-end consoles can now run on the Web or as Facebook apps, reaching an enormous user base. This totally changes the playing field for game developers who want to widely deploy and monetize their games.

Emmy Huang, group product manager at Adobe Gaming Solutions echoes Tim’s sentiments:

We’re excited that Epic Games is tapping into the latest capabilities in Adobe Flash Player 11 to power its Unreal Engine 3. As the console of the web, Flash is delivering immersive gaming experiences across screens and we’re thrilled to have Epic Games using Flash Player to deliver its blockbuster, premier 3D games on the Web.

This is potentially the start of something huge, as Flash games begin the transition from timewasting 2D games to timewasting 3D releases. Existing UE3 licensees will be able to access the new features quickly and easily, bringing their triple-A gaming to the web.

As Duke Nukem Forever? Borderlands, Mortal Kombat, BioShock… and, of course, Gears of War are all powered by Unreal.

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