Ghost Games’ Marcus Nilsson, executive producer on Need for Speed: Rivals, has said that EA’s proprietary game engine, Frostbite 3, is “never going to be the Unreal Engine” because the publisher doesn’t want to let just anyone use it.
The engine is at the heart of many of EA’s upcoming titles – Battlefield 4, Dragon Age 3, the next Mass Effect game, and, of course, Nilsson’s Need for Speed title – and it’s a surprise that, what with the potent visuals the technology can produce, the publisher wouldn’t be eager to license it out to developers for great profit. According to Nilsson, though, that’s not currently on the cards.
“It’s never going to be the Unreal Engine because we’re never going to let anyone use it,” Nilsson told Pocket Lint. “It’s EA’s engine and EA is going to start developing that. Whatever the strategies for Frostbite 3 are I can’t talk about.”
Nilsson went on to praise the engine, saying that it “is not only awesome in what it outputs on the screen, it’s also how the developers back in Gothenburg can work with it. The iteration times are faster, the Frostbite team has that much more time – not working on the toolsets as they are on the output.”
It sounds like for the near future, at least, EA are going to be keeping Frostbite 3 for in-house projects like Command & Conquer and Mirror’s Edge 2. Maybe the publisher will allow certain developers license the technology but they’ll be more selective than Epic (who allow anyone with the money to buy a commercial license do so).