Mozilla to bring Unreal Engine 3 to the web without plug-ins

By on March 28, 2013, 7:30 AM

Epic has teamed up with Mozilla to bring Unreal Engine 3 to the web with Firefox, plug-in free. The announcement came during the Game Developers Conference where Mozilla showed Unreal Tournament and the Citadel demo running natively in the browser.

Surprisingly enough, Mozilla’s engineering director and the inventor of WebGL Vladimir Vukicevic said it only took four days to port the entire Unreal 3 Engine to the web as only small adjustments were needed.

Support for the engine will also be coming to Mozilla’s mobile browser for Android and naturally, Firefox OS. There is a bit of a performance hit as games are expected to run within 2x of native performance but considering that something like this wasn’t even conceivable just a few years ago, it’s rather impressive even if it isn’t as fast as native.

If you recall, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 on the web. Back in October 2011, the company announced support for Adobe Flash which allowed a number of titles to be played within browsers via social networking sites. Since then, of course, Flash has fallen to the wayside which likely prompted Epic to reevaluate their web presence and ultimately elect to work with Mozilla.

We are told that a demo will be available in the coming weeks but in the meantime, interested parties are urged to check out Mozilla’s BananaBread demo that’s works with the latest Firefox Nightly.

User Comments: 10

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bielius bielius said:

Another step taken towards real gaming in your browser.

Not sure if it's good or not though.

Guest said:

But can it play Crysis?

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

The demo is older than Infinity Blade. It was used to show off new UE3 features. It's kind of been a benchmark, or proof of concept, for other platforms since.

"Can it run Doom" has kind of become "Can it run Epic Citadel."

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

That's all well & good but what about it devouring your cap? And what about the millions of schmoe's in the world who aren't lucky enough to have a very high speed connection?

VitalyT VitalyT said:

I don't think so...

One has to be mad to spend time learning and developing for a browser whose market share is consistently shrinking: [link]

Chrome is picking up Mozilla's shares, but Google is conscious about use of standards in the browser, they wouldn't attempt such a stupid stunt that Mozilla came up with out of desperation because they are losing the market.

There are other important things due to appear in Chrome soon, and first of all - embedded support for H.265 / HEVC. They have no choice in that, as their home-cooked VP9 is miles behind HEVC.

Lurker101 said:

But can it play Crysis?

Wrong engine

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Any of you guys check out the emscripten compiler? Check out some of the incredible things they can port over to run in a browser here:

To point out something really impressive take a look at the UNIGINE port...

It really is impressive how far they've come to bringing us everything we need in the browser. I remember before QuakeLive launched I thought it was impossible to get it working in a decent manner.

JC713 JC713 said:

Next thing is to leave flash for HTML5.

treetops treetops said:

Hmm what is the point of running it in your browser? Is it so people can make unreal engine 3 games easier? Do they stream instead of downloading? Is it so compatibility will be easier for all platforms?

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

No, it depends, yes...

as far as the "it depends" goes it's really up to how the application was coded as to how much has to be pre-downloaded in order to get going.

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