38 Studios, a developer founded by baseball player Curt Schilling, has licensed Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 for its upcoming MMOG, the company announced today.

Schilling, an avid Everquest player and pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, formed 38 Studios in 2006, and has invested some of his baseball earnings in developing a new MMOG.

“Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 is best-of-breed, empowering developers with superior content creation tools, extensive middleware integration, and exceptional visual quality and rendering,” said Brett Close, CEO and President of 38 Studios. “Epic gets what it takes to make great games, and its Unreal Engine 3 toolset will allow our development team to prototype efficiently and achieve the signature visual quality and excellence we are striving for.”

The studio has already signed creative talent Todd McFarlane and R. A. Salvatore to work on the title, which will be "an original IP made up of fantastical elements, settings, characters, creatures, rules, and experiences." It is scheduled for release in late 2010.

“38 Studios really wanted to push the envelope with their client-side technology,” said Jay Wilbur, Vice President of Epic Games. “Unreal Engine 3 will enable them to quickly iterate and define their look using high-end graphics and toolsets, integrated middleware, and collaborate with an entire community of developers. 38 Studios is comprised of some of the industry’s top technological and creative minds, and we look forward to seeing what they do with our engine.”

The studio has also licensed the BigWorld Technology Suite for its backend, server-side capabilities.

“History has taught us that the risk associated with building complex games is reduced significantly when the core infrastructure and toolsets are in place early on,” explained Jon Laff, 38 Studios' CTO. “With both Unreal Engine 3 and BigWorld, 38 Studios is marrying two unbeatable technologies to give us the foundation to produce the highest quality MMOG we can while still allowing us to focus on making a game that is uniquely ours.”