Fortnite Developer To Open Office In Detroit, But Not To Make Games

Posted: Jun 4 2019, 4:26am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 4 2019, 8:36am CDT , in Technology News


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Fortnite developer to open office in Detroit, but not to make games
Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash

The software developer is foraying into other industries outside the gaming world.

Epic Games, the software developer behind Fortnite, plans to open an office in Detroit, where it will market its Unreal Engine to automotive clients, according to Crain's Detroit Business.

Instead of making games, the company will sell its end-to-end game design toolset to carmakers in Detroit to prove Unreal Engine’s potential beyond the gaming world. Car companies Ford and General Motors are both headquartered near Detroit.

Epic Games' Unreal Engine was first integrated into the developer's 1998 first-person shooter game Unreal. The game engine offers integrated tools for game developers to design and build games, simulations and visualizations.

The technology is now being used by other industries, including the automotive sector. Ford already employed the Unreal Engine at its 2020 Explorer's debut at the 2019 North American International Auto Show. The carmaker used an Unreal-powered VR experience at the show, allowing car enthusiasts and potential car buyers to experience a prototype vehicle without actually sitting on a prototype vehicle.

A range of cameras was used at the new Ford Explorer’s debut to monitor the car and sync visuals to changes in elevation and position as the SUV drove around a track. The report said it took Ford’s creative agency, Imagination, six months of planning to make the experience work.

“We're looking for the most cost-efficient way to achieve our objectives… and if Unreal is the most efficient way to communicate what we're trying to communicate, that's what we'll use,” Garett Carr, global auto show and events manager at Ford, reportedly said.

Aside from Ford, German luxury carmaker Audi also started using Unreal-based car configurators at its 1,000 dealer centers.

Epic Games’ move comes as more automotive players are embracing the idea of AR-integration in cars as part of their autonomous offensive. Forbes predicted in January that two of the most significant trends in new vehicles this year will be voice assistants and in-car AR.

Car manufacturing giants Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota Motors and Volvo have all jumped onboard Nvidia’s DriveAR platform that is powered by machine learning.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/81" rel="author">Mandy Jean</a>
Mandy covers the latest news in Tech and Business.




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