You may not know the RAD Game Tools name off the top of your head, but you’re no doubt familiar with its work. It’s a development toolset that’s been around since 1988, according to its website (which also looks like it’s been around since 1988), which claims “that at least one of our products is built into almost every game shipped today. We have appeared in more than 24,600 games to date, and roughly 200 million end user units per year.”
I can’t attest to those numbers, but I can say that it’s been around for a very long time: I have fond memories of using the old Bink and Smacker players to watch in-game cinematics from games like Diablo and MechWarrior 2.
(Still the best.)
More than three decades after its founding in 1988, the company is now a part of Epic Games, which announced today that it plans to integrate the company’s technology into its Unreal Engine.
“We know first-hand how impressive RAD’s compression technology is, having used it to improve the load time and quality of our most popular games—including Fortnite,” Epic CTO Kim Libreri said. “The RAD team includes some of the world’s leading compression, video and game dev tooling experts, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Epic family.”
Epic said the partnership “will allow even more developers access to tools that make their games load and download faster, and offer their players a better, higher quality video and gaming experience.” But it also emphasized that RAD Game Tools will continue to support its existing partnerships in the game, film, and television industries, and that its technology will remain available to other companies, including those that don’t use the Unreal Engine.
“Our work with Epic goes back decades, and joining forces is a natural next step given our alignment on products, mission, and culture. We both believe that solid technologies enable developers to build beautiful, performant, and reliable experiences,” RAD Game Tools founder and CEO Jeff Roberts said.
In case you missed it, Epic also recently bought a mega-mall.
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