Introduction to Game Engines & Middleware

Game Engines are the foundation in which games are built, the contain all the logic to be able to show graphics, play audio, compute input etc without having any of the game specific assets such as sprites or music files.

Middleware on the other hand has one specific goal in mind, for example a audio middle ware just plays sounds and you would not be able to display graphics with it.

So you can think of game engines as the combination of middleware.

Who develops game engines?

There are two type of game engines based on who developed them or rather who had access to them:

  • In-house game engines - only available to one game development studio
  • Retail game engine - engines that are normally sold as a product and used by multiple game development studios

How much did game engines cost?

This really depends on the engine, it could have been anywhere between a licensing fee per game sold or a one time fee of thousands of dollars for console games.

This was due to the limited audience of game engines at the time, you would have to pay an entire development team to work on a game engine (not cheap) and you would only be able to sell to about a dozen companies.

However with the Indie game revolution a number of free or cheap game engines became available but tended still to charge much more for console development.


Game Engines by Platform

Although game engines can be used across multiple games consoles or platforms, we have seperated the game engines by platform to make it easier to compare the features between engines of a given console generation.

Platform Name Game Engine List
Microsoft XBox Original Xbox Game Engines
Nintendo WiiU WiiU eShop Game Engines
Unity Game Engine Games on wiiU eShop
Wii U Nintendo Web Framework
FMOD Sound Middleware

Read all about FMOD Sound Middleware in this s...

WiiU eShop Game Engines

Read all about WiiU eShop Game Engines in this s...

Wii U Nintendo Web Framework

Read all about Wii U Nintendo Web Framework in this s...

Unity Game Engine Games on wiiU eShop

Read all about Unity Game Engine Games on wiiU eShop in this s...

Original Xbox Game Engines

Read all about Original Xbox Game Engines in this s...