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5 Game Engines That Revolutionized the Industry

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It may come as a surprise to some, that many of your favorite games share the same game engine. A game engine essentially gives developers all the tools they need to create a game, rather than coding everything from scratch. When a well-designed game engine appears, it tends to gain a monopoly amongst developers since it provides updated and fresh graphics, physics, and mechanics. That's why we want to take a look at the five-game engines that revolutionized the industry, in this list.

These game engines are notable for the distinguishable features and characteristics they've brought to the gaming scene. Thus, offering gamers a better experience and dev's a better opportunity to enhance their games. They've also become famous for eliminating or solving an old problem, altering the framework of how a game can be developed. As a result, all of the game engines in this list have made an impact on the gaming industry and have influenced how games are developed and played today.


5. Frostbite

It's a common understanding that EA game's usually come unpolished with a bundle of bugs. That's due to the game engine Frostbite, which was a revolutionary engine Developed by DICE. EA saw the true potential the Frostbite engine had to make games more immersive. Like its debut game, Battlefield: Bad Company, revolutionized the industry with the incorporation of destructible environments. That's right, you can thank the crazy immersive and outright chaotic fights across all Battlefield games, to the Frostbite engine.

On top of this, it was a stepping stone of graphic potential for games at the time. Games never looked more realistic and the texture never showcased so much detail. The revolutionary game engine is so powerful, that it's carried over to today's titles, however with an updated Frostbite engine 3. It's understandable the engine has issues given how advanced it is, but Frostbite is only getting better with time. And it will undoubtedly be one of the longest careers in the industry for a game engine, that will carry far into the future.


4. Source

Back in 2004, Valve developed a 3D game engine known as Source. Little did they know, it would grow to become one of the most successful game engines, credited with granting us some of our favorite titles. Games like The Half-Life series, Counter-Strike: Source, Team Fortress 2, and Portal 2, to name a few of the iconic games. However, the list goes on and on. One game that truly showcased its potential was Garry's Mod.

At the time, gaming engines were much too complicated to comprehend. Source simplified this for developers and modders by being one of the first engines that supported user mods. Without having to manual code every bit of content. It's evident that modders took full advantage of this with Garry's Mod, which is a game full of mini-modded games. Like Trouble in Terrorist Town, Death Run, and RP servers. Without the Source engine, many of the great game ideas like Among Us, may not have come, as it sprung off the original ideas players had for games with Source.


3. Unity

Game engines that revolutionized the industry

The Unity game engine is the most popular third-party game engine worldwide. You can't even begin to fathom the number of games that have been developed with its engine, but that's with good reason. It's also one of the most adaptable and accessible game engines available. It lets devs create games both in 2D and 3D, as well as easily incorporates animations, and cinematics right into the Unity Editor. It's also one of the only game engines that can develop games on all platforms, even mobile.

Originally developed back in 2005, the Unity engine has seen a host of improvements over the years. Resulting in its long-running stint. And the engine isn't stopping anytime soon. It's continuing to showcase its adaptivity by being the leading engine for VR games. No other game engine has been so adaptable to all platforms, and you can thank Unity as one of the game engines that revolutionized the industry idea.


2. Havok

Game engines that revolutionized the industry

One of the longest-running careers amongst all game engines is Havok. The original version was developed back in 2000 and is still used today. It's revolutionized video games for many reasons, but its defining aspect is thanks to its realistic physics. Moreso, it has revolutionized the industry by making games more realistic and giving players and NPCs more realistic attributes.

There's nothing sweeter than landing a headshot and seeing your enemy fold like a piece of paper. Or hitting an enemy with a shotgun and seeing them fly across the room. Games are more realistic due to this feature which is originally credited to the Havok game engine. With over 600 games utilizing it since 2000, you could make the claim that it's one of the game engines that revolutionized the industry.


1. Unreal Engine

Game engines that revolutionized the industry

The most popular game engine in the world is the Unreal Engine and its later updated versions. The multi-platform engine is highly acclaimed for its graphic capabilities, which is now a standard benchmark to be used for all video games. An example of its vast graphic potential can be seen in games like Batman: Arkham series, Borderlands series, and Ghostwire: Tokyo, to name a few. But the list goes on and on. A rule of thumb is that if you can think of the game, there's a solid chance Unreal Engine had a part in its creation.

It's also the oldest engine on this list, originally developed in 1998. And compared to other engines mentioned in this list, it easily doubles, triples, and even quadruples the number of games it's had a hand in. The engine has become an industry standard, completely revolutionizing the way games look today. Unreal engine is credited with all the great advancements made in video game graphics. Single-handled it's revolutionized the industry standard of graphics in games today.


So, What's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there other game engines that we should know about? Let us know in the comments below or over on our socials here!

Riley Fonger is a freelance writer, music lover, and gamer since adolescence. He loves anything video game-related and grew up with a passion for story games such as Bioshock and The Last of Us.