Unreal Engine 5 unveiled, Tokyo Game Show and ChinaJoy respond to COVID-19, and a new AAA studio is on the scene

In this week’s gaming news, Epic Games looks to the future with the Unreal Engine 5, Tokyo Game Show and ChinaJoy respond differently to the COVID-19 pandemic, and two ex-Respawn developers partner up to form their own AAA gaming studio.

Epic Games shows off the Unreal Engine 5
Eight years after the release of the Unreal Engine 4, Epic Games is ready to take video game graphics to the next level with its successor, the Unreal Engine 5. The new engine is meant to harness the power and performance of the next-generation consoles, explains TechCrunch and The Washington Post, through dynamic rendering capabilities. Epic Games gave viewers a taste of the Unreal Engine 5 through a gameplay demo on PlayStation 5 for a fake game called Lumen in the Land of Nanite during Geoff Keighley’s recent Summer Game Fest digital presentation. Following the demo, Forbes and IGN expressed enthusiasm for the Unreal Engine 5’s potential for PlayStation 5 titles, but were quick to criticize the Xbox Series X, stating that gameplay showcased during Microsoft’s recent Inside Xbox event was lackluster in comparison to that shown of the Unreal Engine 5 during Sony’s showcase.

Tokyo Game Show 2020 cancels, ChinaJoy continues full steam ahead
For the first time since 1996, Tokyo Game Show has canceled, reports CNET and The Verge, due to COVID-19 concerns. In contrast, ChinaJoy, one of China’s major video game events, is going forward as planned and is set to take place at the end of July. Despite the potential health concerns, VentureBeat explains ChinaJoy sounds like “something that the Chinese government can pull off,” as all attendees will be required to take their temperature regularly as well as provide a real name and green health QR code while on expo grounds. ChinaJoy saw upwards of 364,000 attendees last year.

Ex-Respawn devs announce new AAA gaming studio
Jon Shiring and Drew McCoy, former developers from Respawn Entertainment, this week unveiled their new AAA gaming studio, Gravity Wells. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, the duo explain the purpose of Gravity Wells is to focus on “autonomy, creative control and decision making” when creating new games for next-gen hardware and PCs. Polygon and GameRant comment that while the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to work from home, Shiring and McCoy plan to extend the work-from-home option permanently, hence removing barriers such as work visas and relocation costs for all employees. VentureBeat was optimistic about the new studio, noting that Shiring and McCoy have “proven their capabilities up to this point” due to their development work on AAA titles Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2, both Titanfall games, and Apex Legends.