A title is developed in a software framework that is specially created for the development of video games. That software framework is called a game engine, which serves as the skeletal structure for video games. It is a collection of relevant libraries and support programs that provides various features to ease the development process.
Modern game engines have blurred the disparity between real-life and video game graphics. Frameworks like Unity and Unreal Engine 5 are jam-packed with features to build realistic AAA titles that cannot be brewed otherwise. Developers have also cited in favor of modern game engines, stating that it makes indie development easy.
Undoubtedly, developers cannot imagine game development without its respective framework. With unfortunate events unfolding due to the Russia-Ukraine war, Russian developers are feeling uneasy, fearing that they may lose access to game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine 5. They have raised the need for a domestic game engine in case the popular frameworks halter their services in Russia.
Initially reported by the largest independent Russian daily newspaper, Kommersant, the Ministry of Digital Development, and State Duma deputies are to engage in meetings with Russian developers on the prospect of state support to develop a domestic video game development framework. The possibility of allocating state funds for this purpose is also a part of the discussion.
The Russian Ministry of Digitization has affirmed that such discussions are definitely taking place. Everything is to be under the supervision of deputy minister Maxim Parszyn. Epic Games, the United States-based company, joined the sanctions against Russia in March, stopping sales of their game in the country.
Anton Gorelkin, a State Duma deputy and vice-chairman of the Information Policy Committee, pointed out that they take it a step ahead and block Unreal Engine access to the country. Anton brought the topic to the Ministry of Digitization, and the notion was described as “important and urgent.”
However, the Russian government would have to approve of investing billions of rubles over the years, which already seems like an improbable possibility. There are a plethora of issues with creating a domestic game engine. As per one of the newspaper’s sources, the Russian government would have to agree to expend “billions of rubles over many years.”
Moreover, very advanced game engines, like the aforementioned ones, already integrate a highly developed ecosystem full of ready-to-use blocks that developers prefer, whereas the Russian engine would have to start from scratch. Furthermore, a domestic game engine would be highly limited; it would hinder the capabilities of developers and will prevent visions from transitioning into video games.
A cohesive game engine will limit a game from being fully realized. Creating a game engine from scratch would also take many years and a plethora of funding and resources. Plus, transitioning to a new domestic engine would require developers to abandon their previous experiences and learn a new framework.