"Augmented reality is going to change the world": Tim Sweeney on the future of graphics in games

Epic Games founder talks photorealism and AR glasses

"Augmented reality is going to change the world": Tim Sweeney on the future of graphics in games

As part of Gamescom 2017, Epic Games' Tim Sweeney gave a talk on the future of graphics over the next decade.

He started by talking about the power of mobile graphics, noting that smartphones are now as powerful as an Xbox 360. He also pointed to Netmarble's Lineage 2 Revolution as a game that has hugely benefitted from high-end graphics.

"I think over the next decade, augmented reality is going to change the world," he continued, adding that Apple's ARKit is helping bring AR to a mass market at a far higher pace than previously thought possible.

AR in your face

Sweeney then suggested that AR will advance to the point where people will access it through a pair of glasses, which will wirelessly connect to a phone to display information without the need to hold another screen.

He also said that the cost of AR would drop considerably, and be "cheaper than TVs" while also offering an experience that will make it difficult to distinguish reality from virtual objects.

On the topic of how the tech world will reach this level of graphical fidelity, Sweeney stated that compositing objects from photos and scanning items will be the future, noting that "we will no longer be creating everything by hand."

Game engines aren't just being used for games, however. Sweeney pointed out that recent film Star Wars: Rogue One, the Unreal Engine was used to animate one scene to good effect, and he predicts that real-time game engines could be used throughout an entire film in the next five years.


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.