Not long after Epic announced OS X support for its Unreal Engine game middleware, the company has another announcement to make: Using the just-released Flash Player 11, UE3 is now coming to web browsers, further cementing the browser's position as the most important thing installed to your computer.

According to Epic's press release, the Unreal Engine will leverage the new Flash Player's Stage 3D APIs to enable browser games with graphics previously seen only on locally installed games. If it can pick up traction, I would expect it to eventually lead to Quake Live-esque browser games that look a bit less like PC games from a decade ago. This could also be great for game demos, which could now in theory be played in a window on the developer's website instead of downloaded to your hard drive.

This announcement should be welcomed for game developers already using Unreal Engine 3, since they'll be able to port their software to browsers without having to rebuild their games from the ground up. Expect to see prettier browser-based games as Flash 11 is more widely adopted.

Source: Epic

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  • Penti - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    It is, but Flash is too. You don't see major web sites created in Flash for a good reason. It's not some magical superior media platform to begin with. It's architecture has hindered development in the video streaming field. Content creation tools are content creation tools. You can use the same animation tool and export for HTML5 if you like. Games will be developed in game engine tools regardless if you target mobile devices, flash or something like NaCl. Safari, IE9, mobile browsers, Chrome with Microsofts extension all supports streaming a unprotected MP4 just fine. Flash player content protection mechanism can be bypassed just fine for that matter and holds no real value. Tools are pretty much separate from target. There simply isn't something like a Flash API or a JS API you work directly against when writing apps at high-level framework and tools, it's really just packed differently and needs different third party libraries and tools to work. Not that it doesn't have merit but the things people talk about isn't coded at the low-level directly on top of the platform by web developers. Stage3D is just a low-level API in of it self. No more capable then WebGL. Stage3D just means a new shading language.

    However neither WebGL or Flash 11 means users have drivers to utilize the 3D features. (Or run them accelerated). It's not as simple as it will reach every user out there. You simply wont be doing these kind of things without middleware and content creation tools either way. And there really so no fight to be had, the future obviously isn't single platform or single target. None of them are magical.
  • ph0masta - Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - link

    I'd prefer to play demos on OnLive. Then I don't have to download anything.
  • phatboye - Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - link

    Can someone please tell me why would anyone want to play a UE3 based FPS game in a web browser environment as opposed to playing a version that was compiled specifically for the OS that the game is running on? I can understand using flash to make relatively simple games like angry birds, but if you are using UE3 chances are that is not the type of game the developer is creating.
  • Aikouka - Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - link

    I don't know about an end-user, but from a developer's standpoint... as long as the operating system supports a full implementation of Flash 11, it will run the game.

    "One 'executable' to rule them all."
  • Lifted - Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - link

    I don't think the point was to play a 2GB modern FPS game, but perhaps a slimmed down, quick to produce (think iPad game) for the PC. I doubt demos will be out on this, but smaller full games with awesome graphics.
  • Spivonious - Thursday, October 6, 2011 - link

    The Unreal Engine is used by countless games, not just bleeding-edge shooters. As long as the game size can be kept reasonable (<10MB), then I can see this taking off.

    What I'd love to see is more browsers support running native C/C++ code. Then we really will see gaming in the browser take off.
  • docbones - Thursday, October 6, 2011 - link

    Got no idea why companies want to add more instability by running their games in a browser.

    Tried the BF 3 demo the other day and after about 5 minutes uninstalled it. I dont want a game in a browser, I want a game thats full screen and I can adjust the resolution on it.
  • bupkus - Thursday, October 6, 2011 - link

    Does this mean that games will now port to linux thru flash for linux?

    Of course GPUs still need drivers for linux.
  • sdffs - Sunday, October 9, 2011 - link

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