Windows Phone support for Unreal Engine 4 is "a very long way" away

Epic Games recently announced that anyone can buy and create a game using their new Unreal Engine 4 development tools for $19 a month, plus 5 percent of the game's revenues. At the moment, game developers can get this deal to make titles for PC, Mac, iOS and Android platforms, with Linux in the works.

But what about Windows Phone support for Unreal Engine 4? That question was posed by a person on the company's message boards a couple of weeks ago and it got a response from Epic Games co-founder, and Unreal Engine's original creator, Tim Sweeney. He stated:

We have been doing some work in this direction (implementing various levels of WinRT API support) and we want to have Windows Phone support eventually, but we're a very long way from having a ship-quality implementation. 

He added that Epic's main mobile focus for Unreal Engine 4 is for the iOS and Android platforms, due to their much larger user base compared to Windows Phone. He said that the team still has "a lot of work to do on these platforms" before they can begin to think about moving into Windows Phone support.

Source: Unreal Engine forums via Engadget | Image via Epic Games

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12 Comments

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deadonthefloor said,
With WebGL support coming for Windows Phone 8.1 I'm not sure if I even care about Unreal Engine running natively on my phone.

The demo they did on day 2 with webGL in IE plus oculus rift support was pretty cool. Besides, at this point there's other engines that support more platforms than UE4, like Unity which is pretty much king when it comes to mobile gaming development.

And while they droll in their excuses for not porting the engine to WP, Unity are rolling on the floor and laughing.

I bet they're going to hold off and get WP support once they get DX12 support in UE4, which it doesn't have yet either. Since DX12 will be the graphics API for WP as well as Windows and XB1 it makes more sense for epic to jump right to that version and not try for a DX11 WINRT implementation at this point.

Besides, it's not like any phone games running UE4 are going to come anytime soon. I think more mobile devs are using something like Unity at this point.

Omen1393 said,
It says a lot when a company prioritizes the Linux install base over a Windows product.

Not really, it's easier to add support for OpenGL which gets you a level of support for Linux from the get go.

Omen1393 said,
It says a lot when a company prioritizes the Linux install base over a Windows product.

Epic Games is the don when it comes to linux gaming, unreal tournament etc. all shipped with windows and linux installers from many years ago, one of the first linux supporting large game producers.

Omen1393 said,
It says a lot when a company prioritizes the Linux install base over a Windows product.

Only means that's where your customers (game developers) want to be. Windows Phone is a niche at best, plus there's the whole "Universal App" bit to consider now, so its understandable that its a low priority. Android and iOS will more than justify the expense to Epic with their massive user bases.

Now, five years from now? We'll see.

that's the point. based on steam stats, Linux isn't a viable gaming platform with less marketshare than windows phone 8, which makes the OP's question, why Linux when in terms of marketshare %, rates below what WP has in mobile.

neonspark said,
that's the point. based on steam stats, Linux isn't a viable gaming platform with less marketshare than windows phone 8, which makes the OP's question, why Linux when in terms of marketshare %, rates below what WP has in mobile.

The answer is technical, not some weird conspiracy theory.

Go read up on the Unreal 4 engine, it makes sense in context.

neonspark said,
that's the point. based on steam stats, Linux isn't a viable gaming platform with less marketshare than windows phone 8, which makes the OP's question, why Linux when in terms of marketshare %, rates below what WP has in mobile.

Linux is easier to support and it's about to become a lot more high profile with SteamOS and Steam Machines. As the article says, even the Android and iOS versions still require a lot of work due to the limited resource available in mobile computing. Windows Phone just isn't mainstream enough to warrant priority support.