Epic's Unreal Engine 3 now supports Adobe Flash, meaning many popular gaming titles will soon be finding their way to web browsers and social networking sites. Epic's gaming engine was originally designed for high-end PCs and gaming consoles, but has since been used to develop games on the iPhone like the Infinity Blade series.
"As the console of the web, Flash is delivering immersive gaming experiences across screens and we're thrilled to have Epic Games using Flash Player to deliver its blockbuster, premier 3D games on the web," said Adobe's Emmy Huang during Adobe MAX 2011.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney showed a version of Unreal Tournament 3 running in the latest version of Flash 11, which was just released yesterday. Flash Player 11 uses Stage 3D technology, which is described as a new method / model of 2D and 3D rendering that supports Stage3D API - a set of low-level GPU-accelerated APIs that run through Adobe Flash Platform runtimes. Flash Player 11 is said to allow 1,000 times faster 2D and 3D rendering performance over version 10 and runs at up to 60 FPS on OS X and Windows.
The secret behind UE3 in Flash is the ability to leverage Stage 3D and hardware accelerated graphics, although it isn't clear yet exactly what kind of graphics card one might need to run a game smoothly. As of writing, there are no release dates on any titles that support Flash 11.
GamePro raises a valid point by noting that Windows 8's Metro interface won't support Flash, but will instead use HTML5. Depending on how quickly Windows 8 is adopted, Unreal Engine web games could potentially be extinct in a very short time.