Square Enix caused a lot of jaws to drop at E3 with the unveiling of its new Luminous Studio engine. The new game engine offers a whole new world in high-quality graphic content for the creators of Final Fantasy. Square Enix CEO Youichi Wada spoke in an interview with Famitsu about the creation and potential for the new engine.
For the creation of the Luminous Studio engine, the developers at Square Enix wanted an engine that would both satisfy the needs of the development environment and would also be versatile enough for any type of game. Currently, for games in development at Square Enix, different engines are used depending on the style of game in question. Tomb Raider, which utilises complex maps and different styles of action, the Crystal Engine is being used. Hitman: Absolution, a free-range shooter, is built on the Glacier 2 engine. "When it comes to game engines, there are two schools of thought: the convergent way of thought which says ‘use the same engine for every game' and the diffusional way which says ‘use a different engine for each game'," explained Wada, "We want the Luminous Studio engine to take the middle path without leaning too far to either side."
For a company like Square Enix that releases many different genres of games and goes as far as to create new engines for almost every Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts game, such a high-end multi-purpose engine was obviously just what the doctor ordered. "There's no question that Luminous Studio is a game engine with the development of games like previous Final Fantasy games in mind," Wada said. "Not only that, but we expect it to be able to cover a wide range from games that have lots of action to games that don't."
With the future of the game market focused on more western games, Square Enix is hoping to develop games that will be able to appeal to both Western and Eastern audiences. "We want creators to aim globally," Wada said. "The unveiling of the Luminous Studio engine is a message to creators that ‘it's OK to take that challenge.'"
At present, there are no games in development that utilise the Luminous Studio engine. Square Enix is not planning to market the Luminous Studio to outside developers and will only be using it for in house games only (Square Enix and its studios). At the earliest, it looks like development of Luminous Studio engine based games will begin at the end of 2012 or beginning of 2013. The engine itself was developed with next generation game specs in mind so hopefully it'll be around for a while.
スクウェア・エニックスが攻める！ 和田洋一代表取締役インタビュー【E3 2012】 [ファミ通.com]