'We'll do what we consider as the best thing for the business and developers', says Mike Gamble

Epic hints at Unreal Engine asset store

Epic Games could be working on its own developer asset store for Unreal Engine, Develop understands.

Asked whether the studio could be developing something similar to Unity’s popular asset store in a recent interview, Epic European territory manager Mike Gamble said it was currently looking at implementing various new systems to help developers.

When pressed further, Gamble said the studio was considering “all sorts of things”, and that ultimately Epic would do what it though was best for the business and best for developers.

Epic currently provides a free version of its Unreal Engine 3, the Unreal Developer Kit, to indie developers free of charge, but does not offer them a way to sell their own assets or expand the engine’s offerings.

Providing an asset store could help bring Epic’s ambitions of further breaking into the indie development market to life by allowing devs to share their own tools, assets and extensions which each other, and would likely be well-received by developers should it come to fruition.

“Unreal Engine 4 has kind of allowed us to take a good look at how we license, a good look at the technology in terms of the pipeline, the toolset and the efficiencies there, but also take that same rigorous attitude to the licensing of the technology and the support to the licensing,” said Gamble.

“If you think about the way the industry has changed over the seven years that UE3 has been in the market, you know seven years ago when we released there wasn’t a channel for independent developers largely, we were firmly in the console boxed retail product era.

“What we’ve had to do over the last two or three years is learn how to deal with the new reality, adjust our licensing to fit that. And all of that knowledge now we’re applying to UE4, so from the get go UE4 is set up to take advantage of and be accessible to all of those developers from top to bottom, and if that means implementing new systems and stuff, then that’s what we’re looking at.”

He added: “All sorts of things we’re considering. Ultimately we’ll do what we consider as the best thing for the business which will in many respects be the best thing for the developers too.

“There’s stuff coming that we can’t talk about yet.”

You can read the full interview with Mike Gamble on Epic’s vision for indie support here.

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