Epic Games’ annual State of Unreal presentation will take place on March 22nd, the company announced on Wednesday. The event and many additional sessions about Epic’s hugely popular Unreal Engine are happening alongside the Game Developers Conference, which is scheduled for March 20th through 24th.
Epic is keeping the specific announcements close to the vest for now. “Get a glimpse at what’s in store for the future of game development as the Epic Games team takes the stage with our talented partners,” the company writes on its event page. “We’ll take a look at some new projects, dive into the latest Epic tech, and have some fun along the way.”
Based on the full event agenda, however, it looks like we’ll be getting details about Unreal Engine 5.2 — there are later sessions titled “Unreal Engine 5.2 Feature Showcase,” after all. We don’t yet know what UE 5.2 will actually add, but UE 5.1 is what’s behind Fortnite’s recent graphics facelift, so I’d guess there are some good additions in the works.
It seems like we’ll get some Fortnite-specific news, too. Session titles such as “Creating Your First Game in Fortnite” and “Making Games in Fortnite” could be hinting toward more information about Epic’s long-in-development Unreal Editor for Fortnite, which is expected to offer creators a much more robust set of tools than what’s available in the already powerful Creative mode. Epic intended to show the tools at its 2022 year-in-review livestream in December, but they weren’t working on the day. Last month, CEO Tim Sweeney said the company was “targeting” a March release for UEFN, which seems to line up nicely with State of Unreal.
Unreal Engine is becoming increasingly popular among developers, with more than half of all announced next-gen titles being built using the tools, Epic said in November. That includes CD Projekt Red, which is switching from its proprietary engine to Unreal Engine 5 as part of a “multi-year strategic partnership,” and Crystal Dynamics, which is building its upcoming Amazon-published Tomb Raider game on UE5. Halo developer 343 Industries is reportedly making the shift as well. That all means that anything Epic adds to Unreal Engine could have an increasingly bigger impact on the games we play, so there will likely be a lot of eyes on this year’s State of Unreal.