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Epic Games once ported Gears 3 to PS3 to test Unreal Engine

And the footage has finally made it to YouTube

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Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Mysterious footage of Gears of War 3 running on a PlayStation 3 appeared on YouTube on Tuesday, May 19 m. The video was uploaded by YouTube user Proto, who claims in the video’s description that it comes from a build that was actually made by Epic Games itself. Gears of War 3 was an Xbox 360 exclusive when it was released in 2011, so the footage has left fans with questions about what exactly they were watching.

The entire Gears series is an exclusive Microsoft property, in fact. The company purchased the franchise from Epic in 2014. The series has only ever been officially released on Xbox consoles and PC.

Thankfully, Stephen Totilo from Kotaku has done some digging and uncovered a few more details about the footage. According to Totilo’s reporting, the PS3 build was part of the data taken by hackers in a 2011 breach of Epic Games. While Totilo ran into several theories about the authenticity of the footage, the people he spoke to mostly seemed to think that it was indeed created by Epic Games, rather than ported to the PlayStation 3 by the hackers themselves.

This idea was echoed on Twitter by user PixelButts, who also appears to run the YouTube account where the footage was uploaded. PixelButts explained in a tweet that the PS3 build was not rebuilt from leaked source code, which implies that it would have to have been built specifically by Epic for the PlayStation 3.

This was later confirmed in a statement to Kotaku from Epic in which the company explained that it had made a build of the game for PlayStation 3 as a test for its Unreal Engine 3.

“This footage is a byproduct of Epic’s internal Unreal Engine 3 testing process, which utilized both Gears and Unreal Tournament, and was never part of any actual product work for PlayStation 3,” Epic said in its statement to Kotaku.

It sounds like this version of Gears of War 3 could have been a way for the developer and publisher to see how certain features of the Unreal Engine 3 would perform on PS3, with no plans for any kind of official release.

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