Under the terms of the deal, NCsoft will have access to all the latest updates to the engine, which the company said is "the best possible offering for cross-platform game development for years to come," according to a Develop report. "Unreal Engine 3 has a well structured rendering pipeline, and its graphical quality is superb thanks to advanced lighting and shadowing systems," said NCsoft Lead Programmer Young-muk Choi.
"Tools within the Unreal Editor empower us to instantly produce and optimize our outputs, and we especially love how the engine enables designers to easily prototype concepts without the need for programming," he added.
The third generation of Epic's Unreal Engine was designed for use on DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 equipped PCs, as well as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The engine has powered numerous recent hit games, including Gears of War, Unreal Tournament 3 and BioShock, and Epic has also announced that an unnamed licensee is currently working on porting the engine to the Nintendo Wii.
"NCsoft pioneered online game development using Unreal Engine, as evidenced by Lineage II, one of the most commercially successful and enduringly popular online games in history," said Epic Vice President Jay Wilbur. "We are thrilled to take this next step with NCsoft, and are fully committed to supporting their products. We expect to be completely wowed by what they do with our latest technology."