RenderWare, or simply RW, is a gameware engineering technology applied in the form of middleware as components of a modulated structure, made available for multiple execution platforms, and massively used between the 1990s and 2000s.

In concept, RenderWare is a virtual platform for the development and execution of 3D applications modulated in components for graph rendering, acoustics rendering, Newtonian physics simulation, artificial intelligence simulation, among others.


The beginning of RenderWare’s history is officially dated to the year 1993, when Criterion Software, developer of the technology, brought to the market, that year, Renderware as a 3D graphics rendering API as well as automation mechanics for it. , thus, a 3D graphic rendering engine, making all the rasterization of geometric elements through the CPU, since, at that time, GPU was not a product of domestic consumption.

Probably you, reader, never tried a RenderWare implementation prior to the larger version 3, under which GTA (III, Vice City, San Andreas, etc.), Black, Burnout, Manhunt, Cold Fear, Kill.Switch, etc. were made. If you are so conditioned, then you have already taken the time when RenderWare was effectively used as a gameware device, and no longer as a rasterizer, in favor of using OpenGL and Direct3D, yet, in some cases, with an independent rasterizer ( via CPU) known as “software mode”.

Would you, reader, believe that, despite using Direct3D as a subsystem in the larger version 3, RenderWare was already a direct competitor of this first one in the days of CPU rasterization, when it was in previous larger versions? 3D Studio Max, in the 1990s, already used RenderWare to create game assets that would also then use RenderWare.

RenderWare, although not the first gameware engineering for graphics rendering, was the most popular and used, invading everything until the seventh generation of consoles, when Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 came to the market to define the new miles, then overriding RenderWare in please another name that had come to dominate the market until the date of this publication: Unreal Engine.

For its reign and relevance, RenderWare went to the graphics area what Miles went to the acoustics area. Conditioning that gave Criterion Software authority, entitled as a middleware specialist, such as RAD Game Tools. – If you don’t know Miles, leave this site now; generation-glitter.

Much of RenderWare’s success and reign is heavily associated with cross-platform portability and operability, but it was on the consoles that it really left a legacy, with an emphasis, on the PlayStation 2 {that fucking looks like it lasted the longest} , which came to be known as: Sony’s DirectX.

Despite being considered that way, RenderWare still advances through the generations of games apparently without a borderline point. It is currently the 3D application development platform with the largest number of outputs available for execution platforms, including PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox One X, GameCube, Wii, Swich, PSP, Windows-PC (via Direct3D 8 and 9, or OpenGL), Mac, Android and iOS. – A lot of that was post-retirement gambiarra.

Many games, although made on other devices, have been remade in RenderWare in their versions for consoles, mainly due to the limitations related to both hardware resources of the console, as well as its programming deficiencies. Emphasizing the PlayStation 2, in which these limitations were substantially difficult to deal with.

As a licensing option, RenderWare could be purchased in code, modified, renamed, glittered, or any other fetish that we had better not extend here. Because of this feasibility, several many gameware development studios had their own engineering created from RenderWare. Kapow System, used in Total Overdose, developed by Deadline Games and published by Eidos, is an example.

The last gameware made with RenderWare was Burnout Paradise Remastered, dated 2018, using version 4.5, a version never sold. Despite the recent launch, the story denotes the end of commercial development in 2006, when EA Games, under the justification of RenderWare did not meet the requirements of the then next generation, decreed the end of development in a context where, apparently, it was a maneuver to harm its competitors.

RenderWare Graphics

RenderWare Graphics is RenderWare in essence, so the term ‘graphics’ has been little practiced. RenderWare Graphics started its development in 1993, with major version 1, restarted in 1996, with major version 2, restarted in 1998, with major version 3, re-restarted in 2005, with major version 4 , re-re-re-recom … – Okay, I stopped.

RenderWare VisionFX

RenderWare VisionFX is the component of the RenderWare platform responsible for building scenarios, primarily developed to deal with complex scenarios, such as large cities (see GTA). This technology offers a more efficient solution for the occlusion colligibility, that is, collection only of what is potentially visible from the observation point (or camera), thus reducing the computational cost.

RenderWare Audio

RenderWare Audio is the component of the RenderWare platform responsible for rendering acoustics, as well as all other sound aspects. A proposal influenced by Miles and as a candidate for substitute.

RenderWare Physics

RenderWare Physics is the component of the RenderWare platform responsible for the Newtonian physics simulation. RenderWare Physics is a meal of another commercial middleware solution called Karma Physics. Unreal Engine has already tried to ship the latter with a proposal to offer a better physics simulation, however, later, Criterion Software acquired Karma and rewrote the entire product, also renaming it as RenderWare Physics.

RenderWare AI

RenderWare AI is the component of the RenderWare platform responsible for simulating artificial intelligence to all forms of intelligent life represented in any game genre. RenderWare AI was developed in partnership with Kynogon and was also available as middleware independent of the RenderWare platform.

RenderWare AI presented a differentiated perception-decision-response resolution proposal compared to the already available middleware that was offered as an equivalent solution.

RenderWare Studio

RenderWare Studio is an interactive development environment (or IDE) where, as a completely integrated set of tools and analyzers, it was mounted on a RenderWare application, which allowed itself to be modified in real time by RenderWare Studio. Basically it is the experience you have using Unity3D, Unreal Engine, etc., which are complete creative studios. RenderWare Studio was the second technology of its kind on the market but it was responsible for consolidating this viral misfortune that ended up being the creation of games almost entirely through IDEs.

RenderWare Studio was launched in 2002, with major version 1, and had the release of its major version 2 (and final) in 2004.

This short article is a summary of the briefly summarized summary of a huge collection of data and documents from RenderWare’s history. It would be great to write 100,000 story lines here, but that would distort the posting model, which is to be short, efficient and intelligible to encourage reading. When we are talking about RW games, we will try to talk more in some brief off-topic details.



RenderWare was once the most valuable software in the world, with its budgeted value between 450 and 500 thousand USD at the peak of its commercial performance.

The software that makes up RenderWare, up to major version 3 (from 1993 to 2005) had its codes written in C, except RenderWare Studio. In major version 4, the components should have been written in C++.

In the early 1990s, before GPUs, when rendering was done entirely by CPUs, RenderWare competed with BRender, a technology that should have been Direct3D, after being acquired by Microsoft.

Between the years 2002 to 2007, for every four games released, one was made using some edition of RenderWare, original or customized. And no game made with RenderWare used all the components of the platform.

RenderWare’s development progress has progressed to version 4.5, but only major version 3 and earlier have been released. After the end of development, major version 4 was retained as an internal technology by EA Games.

RenderWare (Graphics), by default, has the most realistic graphics renderer ever, forever, no matter how much time passes. Raw rendering, without enamel, without glitter, without everything and with nothing. Take any asset, any ultra-fantasy game and try to render with RenderWare and be disappointed to see how everything lies in shaders. Stopping to analyze, applying effect is to make something artificial, not real, therefore unrealistic; but it fits perspective.

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