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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  • http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/63853

    "If you walked into this place six years ago, Epic was a PC company and always had been. We did one PS2 launch title, which was a port of Unreal Tournament, and everything else was PC. And now, if you read our forums, people are saying: 'Why do you hate the PC? You're a console-only company.' And guess what? It's because the money's on console." -- Epic Games CEO Michael Capps, May 18, 2010, to CVG.

    Kinda hard to shrug it off as a "myth" when your boss essentially strengthens the myth with good old capitalism. And to Rein's argument that Bulletstorm means that Epic is a PC developer again, I disagree, since People Can Fly is doing the actual footwork there.

    I'm not going to consider Epic Games to be a "PC game developer" until they internally develop and release a game. Epic Games is certainly a "PC game engine" company right now, but they're not a "PC game developer".

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 6 replies.

    • Its crazy all the varying remarks that come out of Epic in regards to this specific topic. One guy says they're still PC at heart, its just their current project had a publisher for just one platform. BUT HONEST THEY SELL AN ENGINE FOR ALL PLATFORMS, SO CLEARLY THEY LOVE THE PC!

      Another guy says, "The money's not on PC, the money's on consoles. We're where the money is!"

      Another says, "Piracy on PC is rampant, we can't sell anything on PC because no one ever makes money on PC! Its all piracy and dreams! Valve does not exist! Blizzard does not exist! THEY ARE FIGMENTS OF YOUR IMAGINATION!"

      The reason they have all these answers is because the real reason is the one they didn't state. They could not compete on the, "Looks great, has shallow gameplay" premise they were used to with Unreal, UT3 was the worst of the franchise, and they found it was easier to bugfix engine updates and very slowly produce short, compelling single player experiences on a single console while cashing a huge check from MS than to make a multiplatform title.

      They are stepping up their rhetoric of loving the PC platform because 1) Microsoft is beginning to realize that leaving PC gaming to rot was not the smartest move they made for the OS that built their house and continues to pay for their summer homes and 2) they have some PC games coming up. Microsoft is now unchaining Epic a bit and allowing them to consider making PC games again. I won't be surprised when Epic is releasing Gears of War 1-3 on PC, 343 Guilty Spark is putting out Halo 3 on PC, and Remedy puts out Alan Wake on PC to go along with MS putting out Fable 3 on PC. Someone inside of Microsoft realized that a lot of what sells Windows is superior gaming compatibility and that if Steam now supports Mac (and soon Linux), how long will it be before that advantage is challenged? Especially when GfWL is a bust and Steam does everything and then some that it should have.

      Imagine if Steam had a compatibility engine built in. Imagine if Valve released a toolset that allowed for a Steamworks game to run on Mac and Linux if developed with it in mind from the get-go. A studio chooses Steam and they get every OS for PC. Suddenly, Microsoft's cashcow is a whole lot less required.

      Not saying it'll be easy, but I hope Valve can get Steam on every OS and get something like this so that MS won't see PC gaming as a given and something to be left to rot again.