Epic Games, creators of the multi-award-winning Unreal Engine, have licensed the fourth incarnation of their software to MMO developer NCSoft. In a statement on their site, Epic said it was "a long-term deal" for "upcoming projects." NCSoft is the company behind such MMOs as City of Heroes and Guild Wars 1 and 2.
There was no word on what these upcoming projects were, but given the popularity of the Guild Wars series, combined with how pretty those games look, I'm sure we can expect a third also boasting gorgeous graphics.
“Unreal Engine 4 is an extremely fascinating game engine in terms of its unprecedented efficiency and performance,” said James Bae, chief product officer of NCSoft, in such a way that I imagine he is a cat entranced by a laser pen.
NCSoft have used previous versions of the Unreal Engine. Their Korean MMO, Blade & Soul, which opened last year but has yet to see release in the US or UK, makes use of Unreal Engine 3. Lineage II, released in 2003, used Unreal Engine 2.
The Unreal Engine 4 was first revealed in 2005, and Epic's vice president Mark Rein declared that it had been in development since 2003. It was first shown at the 2012 Games Developers Conference in California and features such elements as real-time global illumination, instead of pre-computed lighting. Here's someone much smarter than me showing off some of what the engine can do: