Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order using Unreal Engine 4 over Frostbite or Source – Here’s why

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Star Wars: Jedi – Fallen Order
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Somehow it managed to escape our notice that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is being built on Unreal Engine 4. It’s a marked departure for both Respawn and Electronic Arts, with Respawn using a heavily modified Source engine for both Titanfall 2 and Apex Legends, while most of EA’s in-house titles use DICE’s Frostbite 3 engine.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a little different, although it “wasn’t much of a choice” said Stig Asmussen, director. It stems from Respawn’s formation as a studio, where hiring developers with experience of Unreal Engine 4 was nice and straightforward.

“There were a couple of other options out there, and remember we’re not a part of EA at this point so Frostbite wasn’t even an option, so I started tinkering around with it and was “Wow this is really powerful for what an individual developer can do with it, imagine what a whole team can do with it”. So we just pushed forward with it and we are very happy with the decision,” said Stig Asmussen during a chat with Game Informer.

He goes on to say there was no mandate from EA to use Frostbite so Respawn were free to just switch to UE4 if they wished. 

“It made sense for the team, you know,” Respawn CEO Vince Zampella agreed. “So we are hiring up for a new team. It’s easier to find people that have Unreal Engine 4 experience, it was an engine that fit what we were kind of trying to do, instead of trying to adapt the Source Engine over. In evaluating all the engines that were available to us, this is the one that the team felt was the best choice,”

Asmussen kind of sums it all up though when he says “I don’t know why people give a shit. You can make a good game pretty much any engine if you’ve got the right people.” This reminds us of all those folks who instantly assume any game built in Unity is going to be shonky or run poorly. There’s no real basis for it, and in terms of Jedi: Fallen Order, it sounds as if it was just easier to hire developers with plentiful Unreal Engine 4 experience.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is out on November 15th for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.