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Epic Games (2012-present)

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Epic Games
882px-Epic Games logo.svg.png
It's unreal to see that they are no longer epic.
Type: Private
Founded: 1991
Founder(s): Tim Sweeney
Headquarters: Cary, North Carolina, United States
Key people: Tim Sweeney (CEO)
Mark Rein (vice president)
Services: Epic Games Store
Epic Online Services
Owner: Tencent (40%)
Subsidiaries: See List of subsidiaries
Website: https://www.epicgames.com


Epic Games, Inc. (formerly Potomac Computer Systems and later Epic MegaGames, Inc.) is an American video game, software developer and publisher located in Cary, North Carolina. The company was founded by Tim Sweeney as Potomac Computer Systems in 1991, originally located in his parents' house in Potomac, Maryland. After the release of ZZT, the company became Epic MegaGames, Inc. in early 1992. The company headquarters moved to Cary in North Carolina as Epic Games in 1999.

The company is best known for creating the Unreal Engine, which is widely used by other developers and considered the most ambitious engine in the history of video games. In 2014, the Unreal Engine was named the "most successful video game engine" by Guinness World Records.

Why They're an Epic Fail Now

NOTE: Their downfall were mainly caused by Tencent's involvement after the 2012 partial takeover.

  1. Since 2012, Epic Games started to shift towards the "Games as a service" model, as said by Tim Sweeney that "the new model was looking increasingly like the way to go". In an attempt to gain more of the "Games as a service" experience, they made an agreement with Tencent, who had several games under their banner (including Riot Games' League of Legends) operating successfully as "Games as a service". This will lead into an eventual partial takeover by Tencent and it caused them to become more greedier than before.
  2. As stated above, their shift into the games as a service model caused them to implement microtransactions into their games, most notably in Fortnite.
  3. Like Sega did to the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, after Fortnite's success, Epic Games started to only care about and milk the game to death this is because they are developing a story within the Battle Royale and more with the new seasons as they're shifted their workforce into milking the money out of the game via several overpriced skins and items, which caused their upcoming MOBA title Paragon and the 2018 version of Unreal Tournament (aka Unreal Tournament 4) to be cancelled, this makes Unreal Engine 5 being the first game engine by them that didn't have any Unreal series whatsoever.
  4. Their digital game store, Epic Games Store is ridden with several flaws, such as restrictive DRM that requires players to be online all the time, poor customer support, long loading times and others. While it is nice to see that Epic is giving a competition to Valve's Steam platform. It lacks a lot of basic features such as controller support, community tabs, forums and discussion.
  5. Their timed exclusive deals for the Epic Games Store were widely criticized due to unfairness and several controversies caused by this. For example:
    • They made a deal with Deep Silver to publish Metro Exodus as exclusive despite the game being available for pre-order over a month on Steam, and those who have pre-ordered it did not receive a refund.
    • They bought Psyonix, the developer of Rocket League in May 2019 in an attempt to make the aforementioned game an exclusive. However, after backlash, Epic Games had retracted their decision and allowed the game to be published on both stores. A year after the controversy on September 23, 2020, Epic Games made Rocket League a free-to-play title and delisted the game on Steam, making it exclusive to the Epic Games Store; however, this only applies to new players as Steam users who already own the game can still play and receive updates via that platform, although this requires either linking or creating an Epic Games Store account.
    • After Untold Games declined an offer to make DARQ an exclusive, Epic Games banned Untold Games from publishing any games on their platforms.
    • On March 2, 2021, Epic Games acquired Mediatonic, the developers of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. Fall Guys became a free-to-play Epic Games Store exclusive on PC and moved to a battle pass system for monetization on June 21, 2022. Similar to Rocket League, Steam users who bought Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout prior to its delisting can continue to play the game and receive updates on Steam with a linked EGS account.
  6. Tim Sweeney, Epic Games' founder and CEO, is extremely arrogant and usually attacks people for criticising his company. For example:
    • He said that that Epic Games "will decide the Epic Games Store, not the customers".
    • He constantly attacks Steam and tries to act like he is a saviour of the game industry saying that "gamers don't see that we're making the industry better", when in reality he is only harming it.
    • He claimed that the exclusive deals are the only "solution proportionate to the problem" of Steam's dominance. [1] In the other words, he claimed that his strategy was the only way to challenge Steam's dominant position.
    • He even uses the revenue split to respond to tweets about the negativity of Epic Store exclusives as an excuse. This proves that Tim cannot take any criticism towards the platform. Here's proof.
      • As a side note, he admits the store's problems but he hypocritically defends them anyway.
    • He defended Glumberland after they accepted Epic's exclusive deals and mocked their fans for their backlash saying that the fans are "too harsh."
  7. Their anti-cheat software, Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) is notorious for its unreliability, frequent false-flagging, and its ineffectiveness at detecting an actual cheat software.
  8. While they claimed that Tencent (who's effectively owned the company) has very little to no involvement in their games and policy, most of Epic Games' major investment such as their store and licensing deals were done through Tencent's funding. Other notable example include:
    • Several core systems in the Epic Games Store were directly derived from WeGame, a Chinese-only game store operated by Tencent.
    • After Epic Games got sued by Bluehole (the developer of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds) for "copying the battle royale genre" in mid-2018, Tencent responded by taking over Bluehole and forcing them to withdraw the lawsuit.
    • Tencent is operating a Fortnite server in China and supporting it by helping them promote the game in China, set up eSports tournaments, and fight against copyright infringement and clones of Fortnite that have appeared in the country.[2] The most notable example includes when they forced NetEase to remove Creative Destruction from the Chinese market.
    • Due to the exploitable DRM system, the Epic Games Store is suspected to be exploited by Tencent to send the information to Chinese government and raise concern to the users.[3]
  9. In August 2020, Epic Games introduced a new payment method on the mobile port of Fortnite to bypass the 30% payment cut enforced by the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, which later caused their game to be banned from both stores.
    • While Epic stated that they are "fighting against a monopolistic market", this statement was proved to be hypocrisy as they also tried to monopolize game publishing via exclusive deals.
    • After Apple banned Epic Games from their store, Tim Sweeney has tweeted to promote PUBG, noting that the game is "powered by Unreal Engine" in an attempt to mock the MacStore manager's tweet.
  10. Despite Epic Games stating that they were "against" the business models of NFTs in gaming, they are hypocritically allowing several NFT games to be published on their game store, as well as taking a revenue cut from it.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Before the 2012 takeover by Tencent, Epic Games has created several great franchises such as Gears of War (which is now owned by Microsoft), Unreal, Jazz Jackrabbit, One Must Fall: 2097 and Infinity Blade, the latter four of which were de-prioritized in favor of Fortnite.
  2. They developed the Unreal Engine, a popular game engine which is renowned for its high graphical capabilities, constant support and updates every year.
  3. They created the publishing label Epic Games Publishing, which publishes games made by outsourcing companies with the first game being Alan Wake Remastered.

Trivia

  • According to Tim Sweeney. Tencent's CEO Ma Huateng's personal favorite game is Unreal Tournament, which is the game that inspired him to invest into the game industry since 2002 and subsequently made Tencent the largest video game company in the world through several accquisitions, including partial takeover deal with Epic Games in 2013. Sweeney also stated that Ma is also his personal friend.

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