Bandai Namco has recently announced that their upcoming, in-house engine is in development. The development is led by Julien Merceron. He has previously worked on Konami‘s brilliant yet sadly wasted Fox Engine as well as other game engines. The Fox Engine still remains a gem and shines greatly with games like Metal Gear Solid V that still look current-gen today as well as games like… the Metal Gear Solid 3 Pachinko machine.
According to the full interview, the company is developing an “engine designed to withstand the development of large-scale games such as the open world.” Katsusuke Horiuchi, who is part of the core technology unit, revealed that the reason given for an in-house engine is: “We want to continue to have the technological capabilities to create a solid foundation by ourselves, rather than leaving the base to game engines made by other companies.”
Horiuchi-san stated that the development of the engine began in 2018. However, the development didn’t start full-scale until sometime around 2019. This is due to the fact that the development of certain games was coinciding with the engine. He states that:
“I think the development was decided around 2018. First of all, it was a policy to prepare only the runtime in the form of a game framework, and develop tools when there is room. So I was allowed to run for it. However, at that time, it coincided with the development of other large games, and the development was at a slow pace. After that, the concept of the game engine was verified by several people, and based on this prototyping, full-scale development began around 2019.”
He also mentions that there are currently no titles in development for the new engine, saying that game development on the new engine will start “in about a year”. The company is also currently looking for talent to assist in the development of its newest engine. Keeping in mind the quality of the Fox Engine, as well as other in-house engines like CAPCOM‘s RE Engine, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going to be the case for future Bandai Namco titles.