MTSN - Training/Simulation

I/ITSEC 2019: Epic Games exploring military simulation market

3rd December 2019 - 17:28 GMT | by Richard Thomas in Orlando

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Perhaps better known in wider society for its successes in the commercial gaming sector, Epic Games’ decision to exhibit in Orlando is one that is likely to turn heads as the company looks to highlight how it could aid in the development of future military training solutions.

Moving into the military training market, Sebastien Loze, industry manager simulations at Epic Games, said that the company had three choices as to how it wanted to develop in the sector: develop internal programmes; acquire other companies; or form partnerships.

The company’s Unreal software engine has powered digital environments in non-military realms from its earliest form decades ago. However, with the Unreal Engine programme open-source and available to developers and industry free-of-cost, Epic Games is looking to harness its intellectual capabilities for the military training and simulation environment.

‘How do we feed our kids?’, Loze posited in an interview with Shephard, given the fact that its product or ‘framework’ is freely available.

The answer to this rhetorical question, according to Loze, would be to leverage the company’s experience in the digital and software sectors and work companies on their own programmes through a subscription-based intelligence and assistance model. The intention is not to develop its own hardware or training solutions using Unreal Engine.

Initiated in 2015, the Unreal Enterprise Programme offers dedicated support and ‘royalty-free distribution for COTS’ development according to company literature. Loze would not be drawn on membership numbers to date.

Additionally, its launch in 2018 of the Epic MegaGrants programme is also being used to invest into developing digital uses of Unreal Engine research and developments.

‘We want people to engage to talk to us, to tell us what we don’t do well,’ Loze said, who added that one of his aims at the 2019 edition of I/ITSEC is to define trends in the simulation market.

‘We are not here to milk people… or [achieve] a quick [win]. We are one-year old [in the simulation market], we barely walk [and have] lots to learn,’ he concluded.

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