Epic Games

American video game and software developer best known for developing popular video game franchises such as Unreal, Gears of War, and Fortnite.

Categories

Technology  
Summary

Epic Games, Inc. is an American video game and software developer and publisher based in Cary, North Carolina. The company was founded in 1991 by Tim Sweeney under the name Potomac Computer Systems and later became known as Epic MegaGames. In 1999, the company changed its name to Epic Games.

Epic Games is best known for developing the Unreal Engine, a popular game engine used by many developers worldwide. The engine has powered various successful games, including Fortnite, the Gears of War series, the Unreal series, and the Infinity Blade series. In 2014, the Unreal Engine was recognized as the "most successful videogame engine" by Guinness World Records.

In addition to game development and the Unreal Engine, Epic Games also operates the Epic Games Store, a digital distribution platform for video games. They have acquired several game development studios, including Chair Entertainment, Psyonix, Mediatonic, and Harmonix. The company also owns cloud-based software developer Cloudgine and operates studios in Seattle, England, Berlin, Yokohama, and Seoul.

As of April 2022, Epic Games has a valuation of approximately $32 billion. The company continues to innovate and shape the future of interactive entertainment through its technological advancements, creative game development, and strategic partnerships.


History

Epic Games is a video game and software development company founded by Tim Sweeney in 1991. The company has become one of the most prominent and influential players in the gaming industry, primarily known for its Unreal Engine and the massively popular game Fortnite.

Epic Games' history can be traced back to Sweeney's passion for coding and computer graphics. As a college student, Sweeney developed a game called ZZT, which he released in 1991 under his company, Potomac Computer Systems. ZZT gained a small but dedicated following and marked the beginning of Sweeney's journey in the gaming industry.

In 1992, Sweeney established Epic MegaGames and released a series of successful shareware games, including Epic Pinball and Jill of the Jungle. These games helped establish Epic's reputation for quality and innovative gameplay.

The breakthrough moment for Epic Games came in 1998 with the release of the first-person shooter game Unreal. Unreal was developed using the Unreal Engine, a powerful game engine created by the company. The game's advanced graphics, immersive gameplay, and multiplayer features were highly praised, solidifying Epic's position in the industry.

Building on the success of Unreal, Epic Games continued to refine and improve its game engine. In 2002, they released Unreal Engine 2, which powered several critically acclaimed games such as Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell and Unreal Tournament 2003. The engine's versatility and capabilities attracted numerous developers to license it for their projects.

In 2006, Epic Games took another major step forward with the release of Gears of War, a third-person shooter game developed exclusively for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console. Gears of War became a huge success, showcasing the capabilities of Unreal Engine 3 and establishing a new franchise for Epic.

The success of Gears of War led Epic Games to expand its operations and open additional studios worldwide. They established Epic Games China in Shanghai in 2006, followed by Epic Games Korea and Epic Games Japan in 2009 and Epic Games Montreal in 2018. These studios played a vital role in the development of various games and technologies.

In recent years, Epic Games made significant moves to diversify its business. In 2014, they launched the Epic Games Store, an alternative digital storefront to Valve's Steam, with a more favourable revenue-sharing model for developers. The Epic Games Store quickly gained attention by offering exclusive game titles and attracting prominent developers to release their games on the platform.

Fortnite, released in 2017, became a global phenomenon and cemented Epic Games' status as a major player in the gaming industry. Fortnite's free-to-play battle royale mode attracted millions of players, becoming a cultural phenomenon with its cross-platform gameplay, regular content updates, and unique in-game events.

Beyond games, Epic Games has expanded its reach through acquisitions and strategic partnerships. They acquired companies such as Psyonix (developer of Rocket League), Quixel (photogrammetry assets), and ArtStation (professional artist marketplace) to enhance their offerings and support the broader creative community.

Additionally, Epic Games' Unreal Engine has become a dominant force in the game development industry. It is widely used by developers worldwide, powering a vast array of games across various platforms, from indie titles to blockbuster releases.

While Tim Sweeney remains the controlling shareholder, Chinese company Tencent acquired a 48.4% stake in Epic Games in 2012. This acquisition aimed to support Epic Games' transition to a games-as-a-service model. In recent years, Epic Games gained significant attention and success with the release of Fortnite Battle Royale, which led to further investments in the company and the expansion of its Unreal Engine offerings.

Epic Games has made headlines for its legal disputes with Apple and Google. In 2020, Epic Games released a version of Fortnite that included a direct payment option, bypassing the app store fees. As a result, both Apple and Google delisted Fortnite from their respective app stores, leading Epic Games to file lawsuits against them, alleging antitrust behaviour.

In recent years, Epic Games has focused on establishing a metaverse, a virtual universe where players can interact and engage with various forms of entertainment. This vision aims to integrate games, movies, music, and other forms of media into a cohesive and immersive experience.

Epic Games continues to evolve and innovate in the gaming industry, pushing boundaries with its technology, supporting developers through its platforms, and captivating audiences with its games. With a rich history of success and a commitment to pushing the industry forward, Epic Games remains a major force in the gaming world.


Mission

Epic Games is in the business of creating fun games we want to play and building the art and tools we need to bring those games to life.

The provided mission statement for Epic Games highlights their focus on creating enjoyable games and developing the necessary tools and technology to bring those games to fruition. This mission statement emphasizes their commitment to the gaming experience and their dedication to providing the resources needed for game development.


Vision

Epic Games' vision can be summarized to push the boundaries of interactive entertainment, transform the gaming industry, and create a thriving ecosystem.

Epic Games has demonstrated a forward-thinking approach in the gaming industry. Their efforts in developing innovative technologies, such as the Unreal Engine, and their investment in promoting cross-platform play and digital distribution platforms like the Epic Games Store, suggest a vision to shape and advance the gaming landscape.


Key Team

Steve Allison (General Manager of the Epic Games Store)

Donald Mustard (Worldwide Creative Director)

Zak Parrish (Technical Marketing Manager)

Joe Kreiner (Head of Business Development)

Dan Vogel (Engineering)

Fellow Ray Davis (Chief People Officer)


Recognition and Awards
Game Awards: Epic Games has won several Game Awards, including "Game of the Year" for Fortnite in 2018. They have also received awards in categories such as Best Ongoing Game, Best Multiplayer Game, and Best Esports Game. BAFTA Games Awards: Epic Games has been honoured with multiple BAFTA Games Awards. Notably, Fortnite received the "Best Evolving Game" award in 2019. Golden Joystick Awards: Epic Games has won several Golden Joystick Awards, including "Best Competitive Game" for Fortnite and the "Studio of the Year" award. DICE Awards: The DICE Awards have recognized Epic Games for their contributions to the gaming industry. They received awards for categories like "Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay" and "Outstanding Technical Achievement." Webby Awards: Epic Games has won Webby Awards for its marketing campaigns and promotional efforts, showcasing their innovative and impactful approach to engaging the gaming community. Guinness World Records: Epic Games achieved multiple Guinness World Records with Fortnite, including "Most Concurrent Players in a Single Game Session" and "Most Live-Viewed Video Game Event." Technical Achievements: Epic Games' Unreal Engine has received numerous technical awards, recognizing its advancements in real-time rendering, graphics, and game development tools.

Products and Services

Epic Games offers a range of products and services that have had a significant impact on the gaming industry and beyond. Here are some of the key offerings from Epic Games:

  • Unreal Engine: Unreal Engine is a powerful and versatile game engine developed by Epic Games. It provides developers with a suite of tools and resources to create high-quality games across multiple platforms, including PC, consoles, mobile devices, and virtual reality. Unreal Engine is known for its advanced graphics capabilities, robust physics simulation, and intuitive visual scripting system. It has been used to develop numerous popular games, including Fortnite, Gears of War, and Rocket League, as well as in industries beyond gaming, such as architecture, film production, and virtual reality experiences.
  • Fortnite: Fortnite is an immensely popular and influential online multiplayer game developed by Epic Games. It gained widespread attention for its free-to-play battle royale mode, where up to 100 players fight to be the last one standing. Fortnite's success lies in its vibrant and accessible gameplay, regular content updates, and innovative in-game events. It has become a cultural phenomenon, attracting millions of players worldwide and transcending traditional gaming boundaries. Fortnite has also served as a platform for virtual concerts and other interactive experiences, pushing the boundaries of gaming as an entertainment medium.
  • Epic Games Store: The Epic Games Store is a digital distribution platform launched by Epic Games in 2018. It aims to provide a viable alternative to existing platforms like Steam, offering a curated selection of games from both major publishers and independent developers. The Epic Games Store differentiates itself by providing developers with a more favourable revenue-sharing model, allowing them to retain a larger percentage of sales. The store has gained attention through its exclusive game titles, free game offerings, and regular sales events.
  • Epic Online Services: Epic Online Services (EOS) is a set of tools and services provided by Epic Games to help developers build and integrate online features into their games. EOS offers functionalities such as cross-platform multiplayer, leaderboards, matchmaking, achievements, and social features. It aims to streamline the process of implementing online features and provide developers with a unified solution across different platforms, allowing for seamless online experiences for players.
  • Unreal Marketplace: The Unreal Marketplace is an online store where developers can access a wide range of assets, resources, and plugins for use in Unreal Engine projects. It offers a vast library of 3D models, textures, sound effects, animations, and more, allowing developers to accelerate their game development process by leveraging pre-made assets. The Unreal Marketplace provides a platform for artists, designers, and developers to share and sell their creations, fostering a vibrant community and ecosystem around Unreal Engine.

In addition to these key products and services, Epic Games has made notable acquisitions to expand its offerings. For example, they acquired companies like Psyonix (developer of Rocket League) and integrated their games and technology into their portfolio. Epic Games also collaborates with other industry partners and provides support for developers through initiatives like the Epic MegaGrants program, which provides financial support to innovative projects and developers.


References
Epic Games
Leadership team

Mark Rein (Co-founder and Vice President)

Chris Dyl (Chief Operating Officer)

David Nikdel (Chief Financial Officer)

Adam Sussman (President)

Industries

Technology

Products/ Services
Unreal Engine Fortnite Epic Games Store Epic Online Services (EOS) Unreal Marketplace
Number of Employees
1,000 - 20,000
Headquarters
Cary, North Carolina, United States
Established
1991
Company Type
Private company limited by shares or Ltd
Company Registration
5712421
Social Media

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Fri Feb 23 2024
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