Unreal Engine Spotlight - BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
Of course, keeping multiple franchises fresh while maintaining the flexibility to iterate on new ideas isn’t an easy task. It requires an ambitious approach and the use of proven, constantly improving tools that enable teams of all sizes to achieve success while providing a level of quality that signifies a true evolution for each franchise.
In 2013, at the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, game director Katsuhiro Harada understood these technical and creative challenges and led a charge at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment to adopt Unreal Engine to accommodate each team’s individual needs and the never-ending pursuit of quality.
“TEKKEN has a 25-year history, and SOULCALIBUR and ACE COMBAT both have more than 20 years of history. So, there are multiple generations of fans waiting for these titles. So, it’s very difficult to approach all of them,” said Harada. “Interestingly, all three of these titles were born in the polygon generation, when people called them 3D polygon games. Not the gameplay, but the graphic impact was the first thing to help us establish these franchises when they debuted 20 or 25 years ago. So, it is important for us to make the audience understand, with the first glance, that this is something different and new. The visual impact, at first glance, is very important.”
“I know many companies and developers are trying to develop and use their original engine,” said Harada. “But BANDAI NAMCO being such a large company and having such a wide variety of titles, not only in content but also the variety of cost and size of games, it is very difficult for one original engine to take care of all of these requirements for the wide variety of titles.”
As seen in the video above, we had the chance to visit the BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment team in Japan to learn more about their use of Unreal Engine. From TEKKEN 7 to SOULCALIBUR VI and ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN, including its VR capabilities, the developers break down how Unreal Engine has altered their content-creation pipeline and helped them build upon the legacies of these storied gaming franchises.