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Epic does a ninja switch move, says UDK will eventually come to Android

Perhaps it was the out pour of gamers and developers on Android going “really? REALLY?” that prompted some new information about the next Unreal Engine and it’s developer kit in terms of Android support. Yesterday word spread that Unreal Engine would not be supporting Android for a few ‘reasons’.

We reported on this along with our resident argument starter, Charan, who wrote his editorial about the matter as well. Mark Rein, VP of Epic Games came out to say a few things regarding the whole issue yesterday after all the press coverage the new Unreal Engine had got, specifically with sites like Gizmodo saying things along the line of Android would not be getting it.

While Epic has been issuing licenses for developer to use Unreal Engine to develop games for Android (Dungeon Defenders, Monster Madness), there is still no official support for Android within the UDK. The main thing holding Epic back is the 50MB file limit the Android Market currently has when submitting games. Infinity Blade, for example, is 850MB is size.

“UDK is a totally different story,” explained Rein.“It’d be difficult for anybody right now to make a game with UDK and ship it on Android, because Unreal is for making high-end, high-quality-content games, and most of them are pretty large, because you can make a large game with it.”

“UDK will come eventually to Android, and Google is going to solve that problem — we know they’re working on it, but we don’t know the release date and we don’t know when it will get into the hands of all the different vendors with all the different phones.” – Mark Rein, VP of Epic Games

Still, the 50MB file size limitation as a reason to not support Android right now seems to feel a bit weak. While it can be a bit of a pain to work around this limit, developers have been doing so since the beginning of Android when it was 25MB.

Mark Rein also says that Epic does support Google taking more control over the Android OS to cure fragmentation issues.

“Google is (gaining more control over Android), and we’re supporting them,” he said.

Google’s Andy Rubin posted his response to the rumors that Google would be holding back the Honeycomb source citing misinformation running around in the media. Does this mean we are back to square one with Epic? Who knows. We can all appreciate Epic wanting to keep a consistent user experience for both developers and gamers which fragmentation makes kind of hard to do. However, game developers always have a choice not to support devices that can’t handle the game and to work around Google’s file size limit on the Android Market right now until the issue is resolved.

Website Referenced: Gamasutra

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