Unreal Engine 5 Has Been Revealed
(and Other Thoughts and Updates)
Some fantastic news this morning! Unreal Engine 5 – one of the big video game development engines upon which the modern gaming industry is built – has been revealed. It looks spectacular. This is going to allow smaller studios to develop titles that would have only been possible with far higher budgets and resources only a few years ago.
Why does this matter? Aside from the ability to create some extraordinary art, the video game industry has long been significantly larger and more economically important than Hollywood. The typical gamer is in his or her mid-to-late 30s and those who are described as “avid gamers”, meaning they play 10 or more hours per week, have double the discretionary income of non-avid gamers. They also are disproportionately home owners and, as one would expect, parents to their own young children; the latter meaning the trend is likely to continue accelerating as video games become the de facto primary source of entertainment for society given their ability to create for immersive, customizable experiences that blend cinema, literature, music, art, and self-expression / discovery.
The Washington Post has a great overview of the details in an article called Unreal Engine 5′s demo is the next-gen graphics showcase you’ve been waiting for if you want to learn more.
The next few years are likely to be a lot of fun on the video game front.
- Civilization VI: There are going to be a lot of new content releases for the most recent installment of the Civilization franchise. Details were released two days ago.
- Starfield: Bethesda, the maker of Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, one of the bestselling games of all time, is set to release an RPG that is described as a “space epic”. I’m interested to know what it will entail but I really can’t wait for 5+ years from now when the newest Elder Scrolls game is released. Those of you who were around in the earliest days of the blog might remember the posts updating my mage’s progress.
- Fable IV: The Fable series has been resurrected and development of a new installment is currently in the works.
- Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild 2: The sequel to the universally praised Breath of the Wild is definitely happening. The predecessor to this game has been described as perhaps the perfect video game and Aaron and I would probably agree with that – it was truly fun in a way that we haven’t really experienced since we were kids. Nearly anyone from 8 years old to 90+ years old could have a blast with it, exploring the open world, solving puzzles … it truly was brilliant.
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is going to be released. I had never been able to get into the series until Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which Aaron and I played last summer. It was hands down one of our favorite games of all time. The sheer size and scope of it was impressive.
- Tales of Arise: The newest game in the Tales series by Bandai Namco is slated for release later this year.
- Dragon Age IV: We’re probably at least a couple of years away from this but we’ll buy it on faith given how good the earlier installments were, all of which we have played over the past decade.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had a lot of opportunity play games in the past couple of years. The little free time I’ve had has been spent mostly reading books that I had wanted to complete – e.g., last night, I finished The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas and I am trying to decide what my next one will be with Jane Austen’s Emma currently holding the front-runner status. Here, there was a little bit of overlap (I usually only allow myself only one form of entertainment at a time) as I’m in the middle of the Final Fantasy VII remake but find that, especially after 18+ hour days with the chaos in the markets, I don’t really want to sit in front of another screen.
I had also been playing Stardew Valley off and on and it has to be one of my favorite games of all time; sort of the 21st century equivalent of a software-based zen garden that leaves you feeling rested and tranquil. I started with a kale empire but have subsequently built a jam production factory that later funded what can best be described as a Starfruit winery. I’d like to begin playing it again, but I have too much on my desk at the moment. Today is day 4 out of a special challenge project in which our goal is to achieve 1 year worth of work within 100 days, dramatically accelerating the timeline of a lot we want to get accomplished. One of the major cornerstones is a centralized software platform that ties our email, phone, and portfolio management systems together so we can scale exponentially with greater efficiency and precision. It is going to be powerful. If we can combine it with an automatic contract generation / management platform, which I’m still researching, and some sort of billing automation, which we’ve had to table over the past three years as it was never on the top of our list despite being an efficiency bottleneck, we could be many, many times our present size while still working the same number of hours and providing the same level of care and attention to each client portfolio. Technology and automation is truly making things possible that would have been but a dream even twenty years ago.