Silicon Studio Launches Xenko – Open C# and VR-Optimized Game Engine

Xenko is a Scalable, Open and Flexible C# Game Engine With High-end Graphics and Rendering Features, Available in April

 

After a comprehensive beta test that lasted nearly two years, Silicon Studio Corporation announced the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, their official commercial release of its Xenko game engine, an open source engine designed for development teams of all size, from indies working on mobile games to full studios working on AAA virtual reality titles. The engine will be commercially available for purchase April 2017.

 

Xenko was created and refined by a group of international developers working under the oversight of the Japanese studio known to game creators for its industry-standard middleware, and to gaming fans for development of the 3DS Bravely Default RPG series for Square Enix Co., Ltd.

“The decision to move from middleware to a full game engine was actually a fairly easy one for us,” said Terada Takehiko, CEO of Silicon Studio. “We were in a position to address some of the complaints developers have about the other commercial game engines on the market, and from there we began to see what developers of the future will need to be successful, including VR and mobile support.”

Xenko supports the latest C# along with a development streamlining scene editor, a built-in prefab system and scene streaming system that allows developers to store, reuse, and review designs, the engine will launch with a complete set of tools, including a full asset pipeline, PBR material editor, script editor, particle editor, and more.

A game engine developed for VR, Xenko also offers advanced rendering set, full support for Vulkan, Forward+ rendering support, global illumination, and a built-in 3D audio support system. Along with its appeal to developers working on all mediums, Silicon Studio expects Xenko to be the future reference and go-to game engine for VR development.

“I ported the game from Unity engine over a year ago because I find Xenko’s API and software architecture to be far superior,” said Mark Aherne, creator of the upcoming game “Universe of Nothing.” “The added benefits of the engine being written entirely in C#, and having access to the source code, just make it a complete winner for me.” Xenko will be available to download directly from the Xenko website, as well as through authorized resellers in April 2017.

M2 Analyst Insight

Silicon Studio might not be a company most people have heard of but have been in business for 18 years. A Japan-based game engine and middleware company, Silicon Studio started in 1999 and has over 200 employees. Shareholders include Sony, Square Enix, Yamaha, Mitsubishi and Jim Clark. In addition to Xenko, Silicon Studio has several other middleware products including:

  • Yebis – optical effects middleware
  • Mizuchi – real-time rendering engine
  • Motion Portrait – facial animation from photos/illustrations

Aside from their middleware business, Silicon Studio publishes games across mobile, PC and consoles, and develops first party games, and non-gaming applications for third parties. Additionally, they have an R&D portion of the company specifically for supporting new technology initiatives.

Silicon Studio is a solid company with undeniable technology prowess, and experience in the middleware market. The roll-out of another game engine might seem a little risky at a time when the two largest players, Unity and Epic are in a head-to-head battle. But there is something to be said for a third open source option, based on C#.

The company is marketing Xenko for virtual reality development, however there is still a long road ahead before developers start making real money in VR. Until then they will need to find a way to chisel out their overall message and positioning but we believe Silicon Studio could prove to be an interesting third contender.