Let me start by thanking everyone at Epic for their hard work that goes in to the engine, its documentation and its community. For making this engine practically free and accessible to everyone. And for making this engine such a great, fun-to-use product!
However, in recent times I more and more get the impression that Epic is trying to do more than they can realistically achieve, that resources are spread too thin, and that as a result many things are being done only half-way. Some examples:
Mobile. While a lot of effort already went into the mobile platforms, they still feel a bit like a step child, not like a strategic target. Paper2D was brought into the engine, but doesn’t seem to be improved upon much more. And (but that my be a subjective impression) problems and shortcomings in the mobile targets seem to have a larger turn-around than the desktop targets, both in terms of forum/answer hub responses and solutions in code.
Global illumination. There are now several half-ready solutions in the engine (LPV, DFGI, VXGI in a separate Nvidia branch), and while it’s natural that a GI solution has its limits and works best for specific use cases, none of the current implementations seems to have been pushed through to its potential. And what’s worse, it currently isn’t clear what the future of GI in UE4 (if any) might be and there doesn’t seem to be any development in this area atm.
Marketplace. While the marketplace is growing and many great assets are now available to us, it seems to me that curation of the marketplace as well as a clear vision of where to take it is lacking. If I e.g. see this thread by Motus Digital Mobility MoCap Pack 1 - v2.5 Release is Here - Mocap Online - Marketplace - Unreal Engine Forums, one of the higher-profile contributors, which states that they haven’t received any support from Epic in a month to publish their update, it seems to indicate that more effort was put into creating the marketplace than to continuously support it.
Don’t get me wrong: I know that everyone at Epic is working very hard, full-time and beyond. But I work in product development as well (not game-related, though) and I have seen too many times how the strategic plans created by management (we must do this and that to gain market share etcpp) eventually fluked because no one was really willing to put the required resources behind them or accepted the necessary time frames. And it feels a little like Epic is battling at too many fronts at the same time to place UE4 as a general-purpose, one-engine-fits-all product and to grab at Unity’s market share. My experience with products is: Do fewer things, but do them right.