05
Apr
epic-games-logo

Gizmodo recently sat down with Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney for a talk about gaming, mobile platforms, and the Sony NGP. Naturally, one of the topics at hand was Android, and, more specifically, why there are no Epic titles for the platform.

Epic Games has been producing iOS games for some time using the Unreal Engine, which provides detailed graphics and better gameplay. However, as Android users, we have never had the opportunity to see these types of games on our devices, and there seems to be good reason for that. No, it's not Google's fault. It's not Android's fault. It's not even the handset manufacturers' fault. It's the carriers' fault. According to Sweeney, carriers are putting so much bloatware on phones that it creates a lack of consistency with memory.

In order for a high-caliber game like most of Epic's titles to run properly, a certain amount of RAM must be available to the game. With iOS, devs can rest assured that there will be a specific amount of memory available for gameplay - even on devices like the iPad with only 512 MB - because Apple carefully controls what is allowed on its devices. By contrast, the more things that are installed (or pre-installed, in this case), the less memory is available. Sweeney used this example to define the issue more clearly:

If you took the underlying NGP hardware and shipped Android on it, you'd find far far less performance on Android. Let's say you took an NGP phone and made four versions of it. Each one would give you a different amount of memory and performance based on the crap [the carriers] put on their phone. Google needs to be a little more evil. They need to be far more controlling.

It appears to me that if we ever want to have the same experience that you can get on other platforms, Google will need to address more than just manufacturers' additions to Android - they'll need to gain control of carriers' contributions as well.

Source: Gizmodo

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Álmos

    I'm starting to really hate US carriers.

    • david2tm

      It's not only US carriers

      • Hal Motley

        DIE AT&T!

        My Vodafone phone has quite a bit of bloatware, but it can be removed once rooted and some of it can have potential uses.

        I still think that it's depressing that Android will miss out on the Unreal Engine, it's a really good commercial game engine that many developers love. Android truly is missing a real part of gaming here! :'-(

  • Mark

    While I do admire his honest response. I think it's more than carriers that is the problem. They are scared of the open and wild nature of Android. They like the peaceful and calm nature of iOS where everything has been set in place by "Overlord Steve"

  • Bill

    Working on making the games more efficent and don't have bloat ware games. Also you can free up memory using some utilities out there, just add that feature to the game...

  • blah

    They are being lazy bastards...I see plenty of games on Android that equal if not best the stuff they have done on iOS. Personally I have no problems giving Epic no money, I would prefer to give it to a company that understands the mobile climate a little better.

    • milk

      like what? not trying to be a jerk but i haven't really found anything interesting thats not an IOS port.

      • android ftw

        have you ever tried spectral souls? full psp port. does ios have that?

        • Jeremy

          Sorry, but Spectral Souls does not match the graphical capability of Epic's iOS titles.

  • T.Mike

    It doesn't really bother me in that I don't know what games are produced by EPIC. It does bug me that it is not my choice to have the game platform or not on my phone. That should be the customers right to choose and not the carriers urge to fill it with profit sharing apps, they got ya as a customer already now let the customer be a happy one.

  • alex

    iOS users are more likely to spend money on games therefore devs tend to cater more to Apple's platform. I love my Evo but iOS apps are usually of higher quality compared to Android.

  • dickenz

    Massive cop out. Haha.

    How sad to read such an illogical statement like that from Epic.

    Pre-installed bloatware being the cause of not enough RAM? Fail logic. Each app has to be open to consume memory. It does not matter what app is pre-installed if it is not opened.

    Did I mention that Infinity Blade (Epic's iOS flagship title) runs on the iPhone 3G....? Clearly it has far inferior hardware to N1 and similar phones from that time frame but 'omgosh we can't do it because of a few apps'.

    Lazy ass mother fuckers. Get on it.

    • Andy

      +1, agree totally dickenz

      @alex, wasn't there a graph on this very site around a week ago showing android users spend more and thus android gaming is more profitable?

      and lets not forget how much evil steve charges to put your apps in the iphale market....good luck epic ;)

    • geemaan

      +1
      Lame excuse to not do work on android.

    • wpfn

      +1 -and as a dev, that is total BS!

    • Jeremy

      No, it doesn't work on the 3G.

      Also, some carrier crapware DOES run in the background, so it does consume RAM.

      Epic is a fantastic dev. The fact that you are calling them lazy because they don't support Android is childish. I bet that if they were supporting Android and bashing iOS, you'd be saying the opposite.

    • Hal Motley

      +1 After reading that I agree, pure laziness from Epic!

  • John A

    I can't say if Epic is full of it or not, but I do see a major problem with the pre installed crap on these phones when you buy them. And worst of all if you want to remove it from your phone you have to root to do so. There is no call for this. If I spend $400 for a phone, I should be able to choose if I want Sprint NFL or Nascar on my phone or not

    • dickenz

      Yeah I agree John... Carrier bloatware is an issue and gay....

      But the point is pre-installed bloatware which is not opened cannot account for lack of RAM that Epic claims is at fault for not bringing their games to our platform.

  • anyone

    is the Unreal Development Kit (UDK) still coming to Android ?

    If so, then the engine will take care of hardware fragmentation (or ought to). I don't see a problem - to me the excuse just sounds like a reason to delay investment into Android.

    • Josh H.

      Dungeon defenders is unreal and available now.

  • Simon Belmont

    It would be okay if carriers put the bloatware on as long as you could easily delete it and free up that space. I own the handset, so I should be able to delete anything that I deem to be crap.

    I totally agree that the amount of crap that is put onto today's handsets is out of control. Some carriers are a bit more conservative, but others put copious amounts of non-removable crap on the device.

  • shane

    Memory is not the issue here.. expec with new devices coming with more all the time.. and app devs have made games for dos and windows under even worse conditions.. so fail on the excuse... he will be changing his tune in a year or less when the competition are the ones making the money. Sounds like someone without a plan for android trying to backup that excuse with random bs.. kinda like saying flash cant be on ios because of memory and cpu, battery, etc, even tho the hardware keeps getting better/faster/more energy efficient..

  • Smooth3d

    Epic is full of Sh!t, Anybody that knows how android works know that preinstalled apps does not affect memory, because its not running when not in use. Plus android will free up memory when a app cause for it. He just straight up lying!

    • Jeremy

      Unless the apps are already running the the background which some do.

      Why are you insulting Epic, when the issue is the carriers? Good god. Epic is the good guy here, and the carriers are the bad ones.

  • Andrew

    The Gizmodo author apparently inserted the 'carriers' comment themselves. A lot of apps could cause problems. It sounds like Android could create a way for apps to tag a specific amount of memory and keep it free for that app. In any case, Android does a poor job of resource allocation, especially when compared to iOS. Just think of how much effort it takes and paid apps to stop programs from running automatically. I hope Google is focused on getting Android to do the basic business of a mobile OS -- if so, these problems should disappear in time.

  • L boogie

    While I agree with bloatware apps being a nuisance, the fact of the matter is that games of ios caliber CAN be made or ported to android case in point, I tried the demo version of air attack hd on my incredible (before purchasing the game) and then tried it on an iPad and with the exception of screen size and such, the game on both devices was pure gaming bliss. Then, few other games such as spectral souls, dungeon defenders, hero of Sparta are mentioned and rocking on android not to mention, honeycomb hasn't been fully tapped yet so the excuse for not porting to android is pure BS

  • Inspiron41

    doesn't matter. if history taught us anything, other developers will always step up and create even more stellar games using a better engine

  • Asphyx

    I can't believe that people are defending carriers and knocking a developer instead.

    The carriers have ALWAYS done more to screw up phones no matter what the system.

    Remember disabled GPS in the TP?
    Bloatware and other do mess up the phone all so they can sell you music you could easily (and probably do) get from other places more cheaply.

    The carriers have gone way too far, they are supposed to be selling us a service not forcing us to pay to to be a part of their sap club.

    Unlimited Data that is only unlimited for web pages and email. Just say unlimited web and email if thats what you meant.

    Did you know that folks with a tiered data plan actually pay the data charges on their OTA updates? Talk about revenue generating!

    My friend didn't get the texting plan because he hates to tect and would rather call.
    He gets marketing texts and billing info from verizon via text. They charged him for that TXT message!!!!!!!

    iOS as much as I would never run it does have the advantage of a different master of control. Apple won't even let the carriers dictate to them what can be done.

    Google should do the same not just for the carriers but for the manufacturers as well.

    Get rid of the locked bootloaders and customized android launchers.
    One OS to rule them all I say!
    Then when google makes an upgrade there is no need to wait for 100 bloated and crapware additions via the manufacturers and carriers.

    Everyone can update when it is released.

    • Jeremy

      Exactly. It's gross how some of the comments here are directing their anger at Epic, when the real issue is the crapware being installed on Android by the MANUFACTURERS AND CARRIERS.

      The situation will not improve if people ignore the real source of the problem.

      • Lee

        Yeah but PC hardware also varies a considerable amount more then Android Devices. Not only do you have different OEMs for different components but users can install them in different ways, different amounts of RAM, different different amounts of video memory. Developing for the PC is considerably harder. The only saving grace is it is common for games to list the minimum specs required to run a game, they also allow users to scale back the graphics quality, and Microsoft is kind enough to allow developers to access information such as how much ram and video memory is available, so that software can adapt. Basically with Windows PCs everything is designed to scale. Android doesn't provide this and so it is easy for engineers to say android sucks because different devices scale differently depending on configuration and software. But there are still ways to have an app scale, Epic is just spoiled.

  • Lee

    So why does epic make PC games? PCs have loads more crap pre-installed, they even have to put up with Windows doing crap in the background (indexing, virus scans, update downloads). And why make games for both PS3 and XBox360, those platforms could not be any more different with the PS3's SPUs, and I know for a fact how difficult it can be to make an engine optimized for both.

    • Jeremy

      - There is a absolutely enormous hardware power difference between a PC and a smartphone

      - PS3 and Xbox are closed systems with predictable performance, despite complicated hardware.

      • Lee

        Yeah but PC hardware also varies a considerable amount more than Android Devices. Not only do you have different OEMs for different components but users can install them in different ways, different amounts of RAM, different amounts of video memory. Developing for the PC is considerably harder. The only saving grace is it is common for games to list the minimum specs required to run a game, they also allow users to scale back the graphics quality, and Microsoft is kind enough to allow developers to access information such as how much ram and video memory is available, so that software can adapt. Basically with Windows PCs everything is designed to scale. Android doesn't provide this and so it is easy for engineers to say android sucks because different devices scale differently depending on configuration and software. But there are still ways to have an app scale, Epic is just spoiled.

  • http://stuarthalliday.com Stuart Halliday

    Devs just need to give the user an option to task kill if there isn't enough memory free.

    Though cheap Android manufacturers could help by installing more RAM. My HTC Desire HD comes with >700MB. Some only have 256MB!

  • Rich

    Since there are many high end games that have no problem I am going to go ahead and say their statement is a cop-out.

  • Jubba

    I will gladly knock EPIC and Sweeney. Not for the comments he made above but because of the whole Linux/UT3 fiasco. Don't promise stuff you can deliver. Don't continually promise (over and over again for 3 years) and not deliver. EPIC can bite my ass. They lost me as a customer long before now, adding their crap to Android doesn't change a thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sean-Gayton/100000335162197 Sean Gayton

    Year later, and Android is still a mess!

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