Why build a game engine?

What is the benefits of creating your own game engine that is so incredibly hard?! Is it even worth the work? I mean, you can build any game you want already with the current engines out there available, right? Or does a engine do all the physics in the game for you? Lets say I'm building a space game. There must be absolute zero gravity in the game. Can you set the gravity and the law of physics in almost any engine? Or do you need to build your own engien to make a unique and original game, with your own custom physics etc?
What is the benefits of creating your own game engine
You will have a game engine which completely suits you (if no current engines has features you need) and doesn't need licensing (which is sometimes costly for small games company)
Maybe there is something about the game that you want to be outstanding and there just isn't an engine to deal with that.

An example is Hydrophobia. The devs built their own engine (HydroEngine) to better simulate realistic water effects/physics and whatnot, considering the game's name, it does have a lot of water going on.
Also the term "game engine" isn't defined. There is physics engines (Havok), render engines, everything-you-need-to-create-a-game engines (RPGMaker). You can combine these with your own to get results you need. For example Valve for Half-life 2 (and other games after that) used custom made Source engine which used DirectX/OpenGL (Depending on platform) for rendering and modification of Havok as physics engine.
The benefit of making your own game engine is many, if you are able to do it. But you alone cannot replace, lets say 30 people working for 3 years and think you're easily gonna do better. You can explore the various engines and see which one fits your game best and probably get a pretty decent game vs engine.

If you are looking at low end games in the indie industry you might not need a powerful engine for the game. Saving resources which lowers the minimum hardware requirements is always a good thing.

But to answer your last questions. I don't know what game engine you're thinking of but i will assume gravity is something you can probably define in almost every 3D game engine there is. After all, most games are just math. Removing let say z axis and you will have a sidescroller spaceshooter style engine.
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Many people are very misguided in the area.

Here is the plain and simple answer. 99% of the time you SHOULD NOT BUILD A ENGINE period. Even if it is for a learning experience you shouldn't build one because you can learn a lot more just by building your own game and you will actually have something to be proud of where as with a engine you will most likely have something that doesn't work or is very very sub par.

For some reason there is the idea that people have that you need a game engine in order to make a game. Well that is false. The simple truth of it is that you will just be wasting your time by building a game engine for almost every single game you make (Unless you are making the next AAA game hit). You don't need one to make a good game, and you will get done a lot quicker if you don't build one.

Another reason is that most of the time you don't have the experience needed to build a game engine. I know many people think they do but I'll tell you if you haven't built at least 10 full games you don't have a clue what should go into one and what shouldn't most likely.

I would recommend reading http://scientificninja.com/blog/write-games-not-engines

Which basically says the same thing I am saying but in more depth.

Here is your answer to "why build a game engine". Don't build one.

There is absolutely no use in you building your own game engine because 1) you don't need a engine to build a good game, 2) if you really do want to use a engine, use one that is built by professionals teams that will be 100 times better 3) Without building a engine you will be able to complete the project in half the time at least since you won't be concentrating on the engine and the game at the same time.

Or do you need to build your own engien to make a unique and original game, with your own custom physics etc?

This is what I am talking about, Game Engines are not suppose to be unique and original. They are suppose to be generic so they can be reusable. If you are setting out to build a game engine so that your game can be unique you are going about it all wrong. Instead of building the engine so your game can be unique why not just skip the engine part and just build a unique game? You don't need a engine to make a game.
Thanks for the replies. I am just focusing on building the game itself then ;)
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