It's interesting how a games company goes about making its money, the routes and angles it takes to make that few quid to get that new Ferrari you've been looking at. One of the big ways, that Joe Punter on the street would not realize, that letting someone else use, or licensing your game engine. The engine is the core code behind the game. Its interesting to hear that id Software make more money out of their engine licensing than they do from making actual games, licensing a game engine is by no means cheap! Some of the top games on the market use the engines from different games, Half Life uses a cross between the Quake 1 and Quake 2 engines, Soldier of Fortune uses the Quake 2 engine.
3D Action Planet have an article on the new kid on the block, and the various games using the Unreal/Unreal Tournament engine. The big name using the UT engine is Duke Nukem Forever, "People drool over Duke Nukem Forever for good reasons. As the screenshots show, the game will feature incredibly realistic player models, slick, creative and expansive locales, innovative enemies (what the hell do those tentacles do?), and near photo-realism". Little is known of this title, bar mere morsels that have been released, but Dukes pulling power ensures its star appeal none the less. Game developers proved to the world how serious they were by poaching Brandon Reinhart from Epic, original makers of the UT engine.
Another of the much awaited games that shall be utilizing the Unreal Tournament engine is Clive Barker's The Undying, I wont waste too much of your time, suffice to say the game is being done by very good people, and it's got the modern day master of horror Clive Barkers name in the title, the story goes like this, "Undying will feature plenty of action and combat, but the folks creating it tell us that there will be a lot of sneaking and skulking around as well, often with the aid of the game's passive and defensive spells. Sometimes you just don't want to get into a fight, and that can often take more skill than you'd think (just ask any Thief player)." It's an interesting preview of the big name games that we will see over the next 12 months and well worth your time.