NCsoft has popped down the middleware shops and bought itself a pair of Unreal Engine 3 licences from Epic's boutique, although it hasn't said which games the licences are related to.
In a press release sired by Epic, we learn that they are for "two unannounced, top-tier massively multiplayer online games" - NCsoft having previously used Unreal Engine's second-generation technology for Lineage II and Exteel in South Korea.
"NCsoft pioneered online game development using Unreal Engine, as evidenced by Lineage II," Epic's vice president Jay Wilbur said, while NCsoft Development Unit's lead programmer Young-muk Choi paid tribute to UE3's "well-structured rendering pipeline", "graphical quality" and "advanced lighting and shadowing systems".
But then we knew NCsoft liked Unreal Engine 3, because it's already licensed it once, in May 2005. We're waiting to hear back from NCsoft about whether that means the company is sporting more than the two licences or what.
NCsoft isn't the only MMO outfit to licence UE3, of course. 38 Studios announced a UE3 MMO recently, and of course Huxley and The Agency will both use it, among others. If you'll permit a feeble segue, our recent interview with Sony Online's Matt Staroscik about The Agency revealed that the engine offers "the ability to develop, play, and test the game on [multiple] platforms simultaneously". Useful stuff.