Game File Sizes May Skyrocket with Unreal Engine 5’s Nanite, Says Developer
Game file sizes have increased significantly in the last five years or so, going over the critical threshold of 100 GB in several cases. In fact, Call of Duty Modern Warfare and its Battle Royale spin-off Warzone recently managed to get to the rather incredible 'milestone' of 200+ GB, prompting plenty of complaints from fans (especially those who have to deal with data caps).
The issue with game file sizes may be about to become even more prevalent with the upcoming Unreal Engine 5, which promises astounding advancements in visual quality that could however translate into even larger game file sizes. When we asked Kitatus and Friends CEO and Lead Programmer Ryan Shah what he thinks of the Unreal Engine 5 as an existing Unreal Engine developer, he told us - after plenty of praises for Epic - that could indeed be a problem.
It looks absolutely fantastic. Especially the Nanite system for a start, I had to scoop my jaw up off the floor after that. It takes a lot of the headache out of asset creation, but at the same time, it starts to raise more concerns. And one of the examples is Call of Duty Warzone at the minute, as people are harassing Activision over the size of Call of Duty Warzone. And I think when we've got technologies now in the Unreal Engine 5 that allow us to use the original source meshes, with the original source textures and everything like that, the game file sizes are going to have to skyrocket which presents a unique set of challenges.
It was a very interesting presentation. What's more exciting than anything is that not all of the features, but a lot of the features are available in some form in Unreal Engine 4 as it stands. Like the particle system is already actively available to us now, even in a rough state, which has been fantastic for us, because this means when Unreal Engine 5 eventually launches, we've got the power to take what we've made now and kind of bring it up there instead of having to remake a game from scratch or make some serious porting adjustments. It will be hopefully relatively seamless to really tap the full potential.
The problem is inevitably going to be compounded by the fact that storage solutions may be getting faster with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles, but they're certainly not getting larger. Sony's console has 825 GB of space, while Microsoft's has a bit more room with 1 TB.
How many Unreal Engine 5 games will fit in the respective SSDs? We don't know yet, but Epic is aware of the potential issue regarding download sizes, so we can hope they'll be able to find a workaround by the time it ships next year.