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Mark Rein talks about the difficulties with Android still.

Mark Rein, Co-Founder of Epic Games, sat down with Edge Magazine to talk more about Unreal Engine 3. Of course, as with any interview with Mark, the questions always come up about Android, which is great except he is probably sick of it by now. Either way, he does mention problems still with Android.

Interesting, even after the current upgrade to the Android Market regarding file size, this is still an issue when it comes to bringing Triple-A titles to Android. This isn’t even going to be an issue soon with new services coming soon to Android but the fact remains that even now, it is still a problem. Many developers have gotten around this by offering secondary content downloads after installing the initial client though. Here are the direct questions and answers from the Mark Rein interview with Edge Magazine:

E: There was a bit of brouhaha amid the Android community when you identified file size as a reason for not supporting the platform more.
MR: Are you serious? Do you own an iPad? I suggest you go to iTunes and look at all the top-selling games, and figure out how many of those are over 50mb. It’s most of them. Infinity Blade is now close to 800megs, and it’s one of the best-selling mobile games of all time. If you want to make great triple-A content, that’s something they’ll need to get over. And Google is fixing that – it’s not a long-term issue; I understand it’s not that far away. But it’s just one of the things that makes the Android marketplace not as mature as the App Store.

E: The disparity between tiers of hardware is another. Are you still unhappy with that?
MR: There are just so many different devices on Android that making a game for that is similar to making games for PCs. You just have to work round the uniqueness of the different hardware and devices, and on top of that the different carriers. You have to deal with all the stuff they put on the phones. They have so much software running on the phone, even on the exact same hardware that can play the game fine with someone else.

There are challenges and opportunities. It’s not the worst thing ever. And when a developer goes so crazy with their content that it exceeds the limits, we deal with it here so that most developers don’t have to. We come up with ways to do the different texture formats, optimise for different CPUs and GPUs, and we deliver that as part of the platform to licensees. Their job is to stay within reasonable content guidelines so their games don’t perform badly. That’s just what you deal with in making games, and we deal with that all over the place.

Mark has mentioned that official support for Android will be coming to the UDK soon but there is never any time frame mentioned. We would hope that with smaller developers getting around these roadblocks that Epic will be able to do so sooner than later and start bringing their products to Android. Until then though, we always have our developers who work hard to bring us top quality games for Android that do run using the Unreal Engine such as Dungeon Defenders or Gameloft’s new games.

Website Referenced: Edge Magazine

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