Unreal Engine 3 has definitely shown up in some unexpected places—most notably Apple's iOS devices, in the form of Infinity Blade (and the upcoming Infinity Blade 2). This latest announcement takes the cake for unexpectedness, though. Turns out that Epic has gotten Unreal Engine 3 running in Flash.
Epic says it has been "working closely with Adobe on this technology for quite some time," and it was finally ready to show its work at the Adobe MAX 2011 conference. Epic also released some screenshots and a couple of rather impressive videos, which show fluid 3D scene running inside of a Firefox browser window. Here's Epic Citadel, the tech demo that was released on iOS a little over a year ago:
And here's Unreal Tournament 3, also running inside Firefox:
According to the press release, the Flash port of Unreal Engine 3 was enabled by the new Flash Player 11, whose Stage 3D application programming interface purportedly "allows 1,000 times faster 2D and 3D graphics rendering performance over Flash Player 10." Flash Player 11 came out yesterday. Epic says it'll make Flash-enabled Unreal Engine 3 available to engine licensees, so hopefully, we'll see some real games based on this technology soon enough—if Epic itself doesn't already have something up its sleeve. (Thanks to Rock, Paper, Shotgun for the YouTube links.)