Could EA Sports F1 24 Use Unreal Engine?

EA F1 Unreal Engine Switch.jpg
Earlier this month, EA Sports unveiled its upcoming rally title. With EA Sports WRC using Unreal Engine rather than Ego, could this be a sign for F1 24?

Image credit: Codemasters/EA Sports

For years, Codemasters and EA Sports in more recent times have created a series of popular racing games focused around Formula One. The yearly F1 series of games has now been going in its current guise since 2009.

Whilst the main element linking each of the past 15 releases is the series they feature, there is something else. Indeed, under Codemasters’ direction, the series has always utilised the Ego game engine. This is true for seemingly every game the now EA-owned studio has created.

Read More: 4 Reasons to Be Excited About EA Sports WRC


But the most recent announcement of EA Sports WRC changes things. Whilst the Dirt Rally series that came before it also ran on the Ego engine, the next rally title from the company will not. Instead, a switch to Unreal Engine has occurred in what is effectively one of the studio’s first outsourcing moves ever. The question now is, what does this move mean for Codemasters’ other titles, namely F1 24?

What Is Unreal Engine?​

In recent years, the Unreal Engine name has become a staple in the gaming world. More and more titles both in the sim racing niche and across the wider gaming industry are using this graphics engine as a base.

Whilst its UE4 and UE5 variants are those catching the eye of developers such as Kunos with Assetto Corsa Competizione, Unreal has been around since the late-1990’s. Indeed, its original iteration was created by Epic MegaGames, now Epic Games, for its first person shooter, Unreal.

Assetto-Corsa-Competizione-beautiful-1024x576.jpg

With Unreal Engine lighting, Assetto Corsa Competizione is certainly one of the prettiest racing games. Image credit: Kunos Simulazioni

Several years later after many tweaks, advancements and four new editions, we have one of the most advanced graphics engines on the market. UE is renowned for its lighting system calculations and 3D modelling capabilities. Furthermore, with many tools available with the base source code, it provides excellent building blocks to developers both big and small.

Whilst a small minority does complain about the engine’s behaviours in certain scenarios, it is certainly one of the most popular game engines out there. Some of the best games around use either Unreal Engine 4 or 5. EA Sports WRC will use its graphical capabilities whilst using Dirt Rally 2.0‘s physics as a base, so that trend is sure to continue.

History of the Ego Engine​

Back in a time when dial-up broadband internet was considered fast and the person writing this was just a wee lad, Codemasters was readying the release of a new game series. Continuing the legacy of the great man, Codemasters launched Colin McRae: Dirt in June 2007.

This new title kicking off a new racing game series from the developer required the creation of a new engine. The result was an adapted version of Sony’s PhyreEngine, dubbed Ego. Enabling the studio to create larger environments, provide much improved graphics and more in-depth physics, this new base revolutionised what Codemasters could do.


Proving quite the success with this first rally title, the team continued using the engine for its next releases. The popular Race Driver: Grid launched in 2008 using the engine and the team’s first F1 game since 2002, F1 2009 also launched on Ego. It is this game that would kick off a journey of over 15 years for the engine.

Ever since 2009, the Ego engine has seen countless upgrades going from its contemporary original release to today’s version 4. Over time, its limits have been pushed further and further beyond what its creators believed to be possible. Indeed, it has served as the base for numerous titles. Dirt Rally, F1 Race Stars and even first person shooters Operation Flashpoint utilise the engine.

But with nearly two decades of service behind it, it is surely time for the Ego engine to become a feature of the past. Could this mighty engine finally give up its strangle hold on the F1 series next year?


F1 24 on Unreal Engine?​

Clearly then throughout the last 17 years, Codemasters’ love for its own engine has been prominent. Every simulation title or sim-cade racer of theirs has used the Ego engine since its inception. So one will understand why the EA Sports WRC announcement is shocking.

With EA dropping the Ego engine for its upcoming rally game, it puts into question the studio’s confidence in the now-17-year-old creation. Furthermore, games now focus ever-more on next-gen consoles whilst the graphical quality bar is constantly rising. Large steps may well be in the studio’s plan for next year.

Daniel-Ricciardo-Singapore-F1-23-1024x429.jpg

Image credit: Codemasters/EA Sports

Perhaps getting rid of the old and seemingly redundant Ego engine will allow the development team to fully utilise the power of PS5 and Xbox Series S/X. Additionally, providing a new kick of graphical fidelity is sure to boost excitement for the series. Recent editions have certainly lost draw among the community.

There is no word from Codemasters of EA at this time on the matter. But it will be interesting to see if this WRC reveal points towards a larger switch for the team.

Would you like to see F1 24 use the Unreal Engine? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!
About author
Angus Martin
Motorsport gets my blood pumping more than anything else. Be it physical or virtual, I'm down to bang doors.

Comments

Yesterday F1 23 patch broke, for another time, essential elements of multiplayer, ruining the "equal" performance setting on F1 cars in multiplayer. Just like that. They haven't even touched anything related to this in the patch notes but it still managed to stall so many, many racing leagues by doing this.

Every year, with every release, every other patch F1 series suffers from some sort of inconveinence that just reminds us for the past years we've been playing the same game with only minor impovements or changes.

The only chance this series have for a decent quality change and some reliability is to change it drastically. Moving to another engine sounds like the best option that could help it.
 
This article is just jumping to conclusions. The engine is not "redundant" just because WRC is built on another engine, they just decided that the EGO engine branch they were using (which differs greatly from F1's and even GRID's more advanced branches) wasn't fulfilling the requirements of a new rally game - namely, longer stages.
 
This article is just jumping to conclusions. The engine is not "redundant" just because WRC is built on another engine, they just decided that the EGO engine branch they were using (which differs greatly from F1's and even GRID's more advanced branches) wasn't fulfilling the requirements of a new rally game - namely, longer stages.
I'm not reading any assumptions here, just a very plausible theory. Good article...

And yes, while WRC will use unreal, one of the reasons was to also streamline the production pipeline. Which is welcome in any game development...
 
This article is just jumping to conclusions. The engine is not "redundant" just because WRC is built on another engine, they just decided that the EGO engine branch they were using (which differs greatly from F1's and even GRID's more advanced branches) wasn't fulfilling the requirements of a new rally game - namely, longer stages.
Not sure about the longer stages, as the Ego engine was able to run full islands in Operation Flashpoint's games.

There are many possibilities justifying this jump to UE (which one?). It could be a way to use different teams specialized in different engines to be able to go further and study which engine will be more interesting in the future. The UE5 is at its beginning, it will take years tonget the best from it, the Onrush engine has shown interesting results in Dirt 5, the Ego engine still seems not equally mastered between the rally games and the f1 games. There may be some experimentation there to search and chose for the most effective engine to be in use in the next 10 years.

From what I saw only on videos, this Dirt 5 Onrush engine evolution seems really interesting. UE may be the easiest solution but not the easiest to optimize.

Another possibility is that specializing staff in that Ego engine, only used by CM, may not be the most interesting opportunity for graphics developpers who have more interest to be competent on UE and Unity to be sure to find job opportunities in the future. By switching to UE CM may get more candidates and profiles, because these won't hesitate to get that experience.

Technical considerations are far from being the unique parameter to take into consideration. It may be even the less important one, money (development time) and human ressources (talents) being highly important. It is really hard to speculate about this kind of question, without knowing what is the company's priority.
 
I have a very high opinion of UE5 both personally and professionally, so it's a big yes !!!! Time to ditch that EGO Engine, it's been a while !!
 
I have a very high opinion of UE5 both personally and professionally, so it's a big yes !!!! Time to ditch that EGO Engine, it's been a while !!
Payday 3, 4090 4K native 110-140fps, DLSS3 200fps...and DLSS3 is very very good, UE is a masterpiece, UE4 is very good too with 4090, UNREAL ENGINE is so good with 13900K 4090 :D

Edit :
Ride 4/5 are the best game with Unreal Engine, so smooth
 
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Well it could be nice if it's UE5 with nanite etc BUT I think ACC is a bit smudgy looking with it's temporal AA, but I know TAA is getting better, I see the new Forza is using it. Will be interesting to see what happens.
 
Yesterday F1 23 patch broke, for another time, essential elements of multiplayer, ruining the "equal" performance setting on F1 cars in multiplayer. Just like that. They haven't even touched anything related to this in the patch notes but it still managed to stall so many, many racing leagues by doing this.

Every year, with every release, every other patch F1 series suffers from some sort of inconveinence that just reminds us for the past years we've been playing the same game with only minor impovements or changes.

The only chance this series have for a decent quality change and some reliability is to change it drastically. Moving to another engine sounds like the best option that could help it.
As long as EA owns the F1 license, my expectations for this game will be very low. Look at their other big hits: FIFA (now EA FC), Madden, etc. It’s always the same. EA business model is to repackage the same overpriced game every year, with minor changes that are sold as major improvements, and maximize the number of micro transactions to generate more cash. I stopped buying F1 games in 2021. There are far better sims out there that I only have to buy once, not every year.
 
As long as EA owns the F1 license, my expectations for this game will be very low. Look at their other big hits: FIFA (now EA FC), Madden, etc. It’s always the same. EA business model is to repackage the same overpriced game every year, with minor changes that are sold as major improvements, and maximize the number of micro transactions to generate more cash. I stopped buying F1 games in 2021. There are far better sims out there that I only have to buy once, not every year.
Im happy with Fifa or F1 games, as long as EA are there my expectations are safe, EA and Codemasters are the best for racing game
 
If they can put rF2 in UE while at the sametime retaining exact feeling, physics, tyre, FFB.
Sign me up !

If it altered the driving experience for the sake of eye candy, audio, UI, whatever.
Hard Pass.
 
It is going to be a slaughter here if they release that game with UE5. The extremely high hardware requirements, the very low fps, the blurriness, and the abysmal VR performance. We all know that UE was a mistake in ACC, they should learn from that mistake.
 
Premium
Is anyone else amazed that all the stunning features and performances improvements as touted in the unreal 5 demo's has resulted in games that look no better but run worse?
 
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If you move to Unreal Engine is the end of annual mods for us players, here from Race Department ??

Does anyone here at Race Department, do you know how to make mods, using unreal engine?
 
Here we go… someone left the gate open and the trolls got out
 
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What if...just what if...they used Frostbite? (Not saying they will but what would the outcomes be if they did go that route.)
 

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