Mark Rein, VP of Gears of War
and Unreal Engine 3 house Epic Games, told Gamasutra in a phone interview that Unreal Development Kit is still in the works for Google's Android OS, despite reports to the contrary.
"We've been supporting [Android] for quite a while, and we've been providing [Unreal Engine 3] in source code format to our licensees," he said, despite UDK not being available yet for Android devices.
Trendy Entertainment's Android game Dungeon Defenders
is based on UE3, for example, and earlier this year, mobile game publisher Gameloft said it would develop new UE3 games on mobile platforms including Apple's iOS and Google's Android.
UDK arrived last year for the iOS platform, which is controlled closely by Apple and is less fragmented than the Android market. Epic released its first game on iOS last year, the Chair Entertainment-developed, UE3-based Infinity Blade
While developers can license UE3's code to create games for Android, Rein explained, "UDK is a totally different story. It'd be difficult for anybody right now to make a game with UDK and ship it on Android, because Unreal is for making high-end, high-quality-content games, and most of them are pretty large, because you can make a large game with it."
He said, among other Android-related issues, that Android's 50MB limit for games and apps is restrictive to such large UE3-based games.
"UDK will come eventually to Android, and Google is going to solve that problem -- we know they're working on it, but we don't know the release date and we don't know when it will get into the hands of all the different vendors with all the different phones."
He said Epic supports Google's moves to take more control
over the open source Android platform -- moves that open source advocates loathe. But less fragmentation would create more opportunities for a game engine licensor like Epic. "Google is [gaining more control over Android], and we're supporting them," he said.