Epic’s Mark Rein and id Software’s John Carmack comment on Unreal Engine, Rage and Android

In an interview with Ars Technica, Mark Rein comments about the Android OS and Unreal Engine. Overall the interview is great and is definitely a good read. Most of it is focused on iOS and Infinity Blade, however, Mark Rein does comment on Android. The Unreal Engine is up and running for Android, but we already knew that.

Mark Rein mentions in the interview that they do have it running on Android device and are supplying license to developers for using Unreal Engine on Android. He also states that concerns regarding fragmentation are what keeps them from fully investing more time into Android. While fragmentation is an issue, it isn’t that big of an issue. Most problems with fragmentation can be cured with a few lines of coding.

“So we have the engine up and running on Android, and we’re supplying it to licensees. We don’t have any immediate plans in terms of our own games for it yet,” Rein told Ars. “Our concerns are probably the same as John Carmack’s. Lots of good hardware, but it’s all over the map, and the rest of the issues he pretty much addresses [in the recent Ars interview]. It will get there, I’m sure, but our technology can be licensed and used on Android. It’s just not as big a focus for us as iOS.” – Mark Rein, Interview with Ars Technica.

John Carmack, id Software, in the interview linked above also mentions Android fragmentation as the issue for the delay on the Rage project coming to Android. While he does state that they will be compiling games for the Android platform, releasing them for sale on the Android Market is another issue in itself.

“I’ve actually got the Android dev kit installed on a few platforms down here. The official word here is that we are definitely going to get some games compiled on the Android platform, but we are not yet committed to selling something on the Marketplace. Because I’m honestly still a little scared of the support burden and the effort that it’s going to take for our products, which are very graphics-intensive.

The iOS platform has really been a pleasure to work on compared to all of the… half of the reason for us ditching the old feature phones was that it was so much more pleasant to develop for iOS. And I fear that we would be slipping back into some of that quagmire on the Android side of things. But there’s no doubt that the installed user base is huge, and is getting larger all the time. So it’s something that we’ll have to keep an eye on. But it’s not yet clear whether we’re going to have this Rage project available in the Android Marketplace or not” – John Carmack, id Software, Interview with Ars Technica

Even though they have hired Android developers, id Software is still slightly sketchy on releasing titles to Android. However, the user base that has built up and the need for high end games on Android will eventually win id Software over as well as Epic, hopefully anyways. Let’s not forget Carmack confirming a Rage port to Android on Twitter as well.

The question remains though, is fragmentation really the issue or are developers, even major companies, just too used to developing for iOS that having to deal with Android ‘fragmentation’ just seems like too much work?

Website Referenced: Ars Technica Mark Rein Interview

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