Rein: "Myth" That Epic Has Abandoned PC Platform

By Xav de Matos, Jul 02, 2010 1:30pm PDT Like it or not, there's a large group of "hardcore" gamers who associate Epic Games with the Gears of War franchise first, rather than the company's Unreal Engine or Unreal shooter franchises. The association comes in part to the booming popularity of the Xbox 360-exclusive franchise, set to enter its third installment in April 2011, and the lackluster commercial reception of Unreal Tournament III.

Popular perceptions aside, Epic Games VP Mark Rein is adamant in his company's drive to grow the PC market. Speaking with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Rein clarified his company's current focus:

We've released an update to the Unreal Development Kit every single month, with huge amounts of changes and improvements which are obviously going into our engine and making them available to customers, we've tested them on PC.

If you look at all the UDK games they're PC only at this point, and we will eventually see them on other devices. But I think that's a myth that we've abandoned the PC, it's just not true. I mean, Bulletstorm is coming out on three platforms; we've just been in this situation where our biggest franchise has been published by a console-holder, and was a very console designed-IP.

Reacting to inquires that Epic's software lineup would remain "much more console focused," Rein was quick to downplay the "Gears" association with everything the company does. "There's a tendency to think that because we wanna do one thing really, really well and not a hundred things really poorly or just okay that we're less committed."

Epic's next title, the People Can Fly-developed Bulletstorm, is scheduled for release on the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in February 2011.

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  • To point to the UDK as being a sign of their focus being with the PC Gaming community isn't a good example. Having the UDK out there for people to learn just means that as hobbiests become professionals, the developer or publisher will see that all of the resumes have UDK experience listed and that will be what they license, and that doesn't mean it would be a PC title.

    As a first party PC developer, Epic hasn't shown much support. While I did enjoy UT3, it was clear that the menus were designed for a gamepad and loading screen audio always stuttered on the few machines I've played it on. Gears of War on the PC felt like a 3rd party port... somewhat muddy controls and menus but it was nice to have the bit of extra content. There seemed to be a lack of love for the platform in those releases, and then skipping GoW2 entirely seemingly confirmed that they weren't viewing the PC as a platform they care about making games for. But I'm sure they love the licensing fees from other developers.