Mark Rein Cracks Wise on Epic Buyout Rumors

Commenting on recent speculation that Microsoft may buy Unreal Tournament and Gears of War developer Epic Games for $1 billion this summer, Epic Games VP Mark Rein quipped that such an acquisition would be much more costly.

A recent editorial in GamePro suggested that Epic would be purchased by Microsoft for $1 billion by the summer. In a response emailed to Develop, Rein did not comment directly on the rumors of an acquisition but noted that his company was much more valuable than the suggested amount.

"I have not seen the actual GamePro article but if they're going to make predictions about us selling Epic we would prefer if they started at $2 billion because we don't want anyone thinking that we're cheap," joked Rein. A smiley affixed on the end of the statement was omitted in several reportings of the quote, leading Rein to quickly clarify his comment.

"It was a joke," he wrote. "The point was that if someone was going to make a crazy prediction they might as well make it a really crazy prediction."

Since the announcement of a merger of Activision and Vivendi late last year, many studios have been eyed as prospective acquisitions for larger corporations, Epic Games among them.

The studio's high-profile releases and ownership and development of the ubiquitous Unreal Engine makes the company an attractive possibility for corporations looking to expand operations. Rein has repeatedly refused to rule out the possibility of a merger or buyout in several interviews.