How Mark Rein, Tim Sweeney, and Cliff Bleszinski Worked with NVIDIA to Advance PC Gaming

Game24, Videos, Interviews

As part of GAME24, NVIDIA’s global jamboree celebrating the glory of PC gaming held on September 18, which included the announcement of the GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 970 GPUs, we spoke with Epic Games founders Mark Rein and Tim Sweeney as well as alumnus Cliff Blesinski about the relationship between Epic Games and NVIDIA throughout the years.

At about 1:30, Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney explains that the software renderers used in the first iteration of the Unreal Engine were capable of about six instructions per pixel per second under the then-mighty Pentium 90. Cute! Then the GPU arrived, igniting a decades-long partnership between Epic and NVIDIA as the two companies sought to, Illuminati-like, “figure out the future of PC gaming together.”

And that future turned out pretty damn well as you can see in this video, which traces the evolution of the Unreal Engine from that classic February 1997 “Next Generation” cover featuring Unreal (“Yes, this is an actual PC game screenshot!”) through the hyperkinetic Samaritan, Elemental, and Infiltrator demos of today.

But what’s arguably even more impressive than the evolution of GPU-accelerated graphics over the years is that, as Sweeney observes, the Unreal Engine is accessible to developers making games on a single, affordable platform, “from the high end of the market all the way to mobile.”

Also, since GAME24 is a celebration of all things PC gaming, can we take a moment to appreciate the spectacularly detailed, vertebrae-crunching sound design of that 2011 Samaritan demo? Please?