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Oliver warns studios against opting for "obvious choice"

Blitz Games exec Andrew Oliver has warned developers that buying middleware such as Epic's Unreal engine 3 is not the only option - and could create problems further down the line.

Blitz Games exec Andrew Oliver has warned developers that buying middleware such as Epic's Unreal engine 3 is not the only option - and could create problems further down the line.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Oliver said, "The Unreal engine and toolset is very good and is becoming the obvious choice for many developers, but it's certainly not the only choice. That's where, I feel, a lot of people are making mistakes.

"People are doing good sales and marketing for things like Unreal, saying, 'Everything's changed, you've got to rethink games, you've got to go and buy something in.' But when you look at it closely, it's not that everything has changed."

According to Oliver, developers can be left with a real problem if the price of the engine they've purchased goes up a year later. "Of course they'll buy it; because they're knackered, because they can't do the sequel, and the whole thing falls over. And so you go out of business. I saw this happening as EA were buying RenderWare," he observed.

"And just like RenderWare got bought by EA, Unreal - I'd be bloody surprised if they're not in discussions with Microsoft or someone about being bought... Put it this way - that's what these people do."

When asked what he thinks of the Unreal engine, Oliver replied, "We're dead impressed by all the demos. But a demo is... A lot of it is very very nice graphics. I mean, all of the technical features when you go down... Our middleware does that, we just haven't got the flashy art demo because we're busy making games. They're not."

Click here to read the full interview.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.