Mozilla and Epic Preview Unreal Engine 4 Running in Firefox

Today, Epic Games and Mozilla are demonstrating how the Web is continuing to evolve as a powerful platform for gaming by providing a sneak peek of Epic’s Soul and Swing Ninja demos, running in Firefox at near-native speeds. This video is the first glimpse of Unreal Engine 4 running on the Web without plugins.

Mozilla and Epic Games have showed the power of the Web as a platform for gaming by porting Unreal Engine 3 to the Web and showcasing Epic Citadel, using asm.js, a supercharged subset of JavaScript pioneered by Mozilla. In less than 12 months, optimizations have increased the performance of Web applications using asm.js from 40% to within 67% of native, and we expect it to get even faster. This performance opens up new opportunities for giving users an astonishing and delightful experience, from within their choice of Web browser. Any modern browser can run asm.js content, but specific optimizations currently present only in Firefox, ensure the most consistent and smooth experience.

“This technology has reached a point where games users can jump into via a Web link are now almost indistinguishable from ones they might have had to wait to download and install,” said Brendan Eich, CTO and SVP of Engineering at Mozilla. “Using Emscripten to cross-compile C and C++ into asm.js, developers can run their games at near-native speeds, so they can approach the Web as they would any other platform.”

Unreal Engine 4 is built to power the next generation of games, and is designed to scale from PC and console to mobile and the Web. We’ll be excited to see what new breakthroughs are in store once developers have access to the underlying Unreal Engine 4 code that targets asm.js and the Web.

“We were blown away by what this Mozilla-pioneered technology achieved with Unreal Engine 3 on the Web, so we had no hesitation in working with Mozilla to port Unreal Engine 4,” said Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO, Epic Games. “We believe the Web has a crucial part to play in the future of game development and deployment, and Mozilla has proven it is the catalyst to make this happen.”

Monster Madness from NomNom Games, was the first commercial Unreal Engine 3 game published on the Web, using asm.js. The company is leading the way in showing what opportunities the Web brings to traditional game development and plans to bring other popular gaming titles to the Web.

“Using asm.js we were able to get Monster Madness up and running in a day, and have been extremely happy with how the Web has expanded our customer base, so much so that we’re now planning to expand the technology to our full games portfolio,” said Jeremy Stieglitz, CTO at NomNom Games. “It has also been extremely simple to market our games with just a Web link leveraging channels like social media and to get players into the game straight away with just the click of a mouse.”

To see these products in action at GDC, come by our South Hall booth #205 or Epic’s booth #1224. Mozilla will be demoing a wide range of partner solutions to help address the needs of a broad range of developers wanting to harness the power of the Web for gaming. We also invite you to attend one of our talks, where we’ll be showcasing asm.js and other Web technologies with in depth descriptions of both the technical underpinnings and the business case for the Web.

Stay tuned for more exciting gaming news.

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