An illustration of 4 of the most popular game engines — Unreal, Unity, Lumberyard, CryEngine.
April 24, 2020

What Are the Most Popular Game Engines?

Game Development
Version Control

Game engines are an essential part of game development. But which one should you use? Here, we cover what the most popular game engines are and how to use them.

What Is the Most Commonly Used Game Engine?

Unreal Engine is one of the most commonly used game engines. And Unity is another one of the most commonly used game engines.

An analysis from Gamasutra found that Unreal and Unity are among the most popular game engines. This analysis was based on games released on Steam and Itch.io.

Unreal Engine is commonly used because it is:

  • An open and advanced real-time 3D creation platform.
  • Used to produce games in multiple genres.
  • Integrated with key game development tools, including IDEs, graphics tools, and version control.

Unity is commonly used because it is:

  • A cross-platform game engine, with support for 25+ platforms.
  • A leading real-time 3D development platform.
  • Integrated with key game development tools, including IDEs, graphics tools, and version control.

Unreal Engine and Unity aren’t the only top game engines.

List of the 5 Top Game Engines

There are many game engines that you could use for game development. Here we recap the 5 top game engines we see game development teams using today.

  • Unreal Engine
  • Unity
  • Amazon Lumberyard
  • CryEngine
  • Their own game engine

Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine is a top game engine developed by Epic Games since 1998. The latest engine is Unreal Engine 4 (UE4).

Unreal Engine is well-documented and easy-to-use. You can use it to develop any type of game — from console to mobile (including Android and iOS). It’s even used in industries beyond game development, including automotive.

This makes it a top game engine for beginners and experts alike. That’s why everyone from AAA game developers to indie studios uses Unreal Engine.

For example, Unreal Engine is used in Epic Games’ biggest games, including Fortnite: Save the World. It’s also been used by countless other studios for games like Mortal Kombat (mobile).

Unity

Unity is a top game engine developed by Unity technologies since 2005.

Unity makes game development more accessible, with notable screen reader support. You can use Unity to develop games across platforms. It was originally launched for MacOS, but now supports 25+ platforms. Like Unreal Engine, Unity is now used in industries beyond game development, including architecture.

This makes it a top game engine, especially among cross-platform teams. You can use it to develop any type of game. It has a strong reputation for mobile game development on Android.

For example, Unity is used for mobile, PC, console, web, and AR/VR games. These include Cuphead and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality.  

Amazon Lumberyard

Amazon Lumberyard is a top game engine developed by Amazon since 2016. It was licensed and reworked from CryEngine (see below).

Lumberyard is a free, cross-platform engine. You can use it with AWS to build or host your game on Amazon’s servers. It’s easy to get started with, which makes it accessible to start-ups or indie studios, in addition to AAA game development studios.

Lumberyard is used by many studios, including Amazon Game Studios. For example, Lumberyard is used in New World.

CryEngine

CryEngine is a top game engine developed by CryTek since 2002. The latest engine is CryEngine V.

CryEngine is a cross-platform engine. You can use it to create photorealistic first-person games, especially shooters. CryEngine is used in all games from CryTek, as well as other studios. As mentioned above, CryEngine was licensed and reworked to create Amazon Lumberyard.

For example, CryEngine is used in Hunt: Showdown from CryTek, as well as Kingdom Come: Deliverance from Warhorse Studios.

[Case Study] Why CryTek Uses Helix Core >>

 

Their Own Game Engine

Another top game engine used by studios is their own game engine.

There are many game development studios who make their own game engines. In most cases, studios who make their own game engines use them exclusively. In some cases, studios will use their own engines for some projects — and utilize other engines like Unreal for other projects.

For example, Nintendo uses their own game engine. But Nintendo Switch supports Unreal Engine and Unity to allow third-party developers to port their games over.

So, Which Is the Best Video Game Engine?

Which is the best video game engine for your team? That depends on your studio and project.

In some cases, the best video game engine for your team might be one of the top engines listed above:

  • Unreal Engine
  • Unity
  • Amazon Lumberyard
  • CryEngine

Or, the right game engine might be one you build yourself.

How to Use Game Engines With Version Control

Your game engine is an important part of your game development toolset. And it should work seamlessly with your other game development tools, including version control.

Version control is a staple of game development teams. And most game development teams — including 19 of the top 20 AAA game development studios — use Helix Core, version control from Perforce.

Here’s how to use game engines with Helix Core.

1. Download Your Game Engine

Go to your favorite game engine’s site and download it — if you haven’t already.

For quick reference:

2. Download Helix Core From Perforce

Next, you’ll download Perforce Helix Core.

If you’re not using Helix Core yet, get started here >>

If you’re already a Helix Core user, download the latest version of the:

3. Integrate Your Game Engine With Helix Core

Next, you’ll follow the steps listed in your game engine’s documentation for setting it up with Helix Core.

For quick reference, start here:

4. Use the Game Engine Editor (If You’re a Designer/Artist)

Most game engines have a built-in editor for designers and artists to work in. You can use the editor to work on assets — such as graphics — in the game engine. Since the game engine will be integrated with Helix Core, you’ll be able to check in assets into Helix Core — without leaving the editor.

5. Use an IDE (If You’re a Coder)

Most game engines integrate with IDEs, such as Microsoft Visual Studio. So does Helix Core. This means that if you’re a coder, you can work on code in Visual Studio. You’ll be able to check your code into Helix Core — without leaving the IDE. Plus, designers and artists will have access to the same single source of truth, keeping everyone on the same page.

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Use the Most Popular Game Engines With Helix Core

You can use the most popular game engines with Helix Core to build your next great game.

Why Helix Core?

Helix Core delivers lightning-fast version control. You’ll get a single source of truth for your entire project. Helix Core stores digital assets, binary files, and code all in one spot — and scales up as your files grow.

Perforce Federated Architecture gives you fast performance, even if you have remote teams distributed around the world. You’ll be able to customize and automate workflows for branching (Perforce Streams) and code review (Helix Swarm). And you’ll rest assured that your intellectual property is secured with Helix Core’s access control.

How Helix Core Integrates With Your Video Game Engine

Helix Core integrates with many of the most popular game engines, including:

Helix Core works with so many game engines. And that makes it fairly straightforward to integrate with other game engines, too — including one you’ve built. Many teams with their own game engines have easily built seamless integrations with Helix Core. 

See for yourself how you can use Helix Core with your game engine. Get started for free for up to 5 users and 20 workspaces.

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