Shacknews Best Developer of 2018 - Epic Games

Staying ahead of the industry's curve for over 20 years, Epic enjoyed its best year as a developer to date in 2018.

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Epic Games has enjoyed its most epic year as a developer to date, if you’ll pardon the obvious pun. Let’s count the ways.

One: Fortnite. Even if you’re part of the too-cool-for-school-and-Fortnite crowd who takes your games with more bloodshed and other so-called “adult” content, you can’t argue with Fortnite’s status as the number-one game in the world. It’s on PCs. It’s on mobile devices. It’s on consoles. And arguably most influentially, it’s on Nintendo Switch. That makes the world’s most popular game playable anytime, anyplace, and with solid controls to boot.

Fortnite's players are among the most dedicated and passionate players.
Fortnite's players are among the most dedicated and passionate players.

Two: Not only is Fortnite everywhere, not only is its take on the battle royale game mode popularized by PUBG the gold standard, but Epic has refused to coast. 2018 has been Fortnite’s biggest year yet thanks to a steady stream of free updates from items and skins to maps and season modes.

Any developer looking to take Epic’s crown in the battle royale and free games space faces an uphill battle—not just because of Fortnite’s ubiquity, but because Epic has consistently demonstrated its commitment to keeping the game fresh and fun.

Three: Epic has long been more than a game developer. The company diversified years ago, seeding the industry with Unreal Engine tech that has consistently powered droves of the most popular and profitable games. This year Epic went a step further by rolling out the Epic Games Store. Developers keep 88% of their profits on games sold through the Epic Games Store, and Epic has already netted (likely timed) exclusives like Ashen and Hades.

Sure, other digital stores such as Discord have thrown their hats into the ring, but Epic was arguably the first to challenge Valve’s dominance in the distribution of digital games in a way not even juggernauts like Electronic Arts and Ubisoft have managed to do.

As a fan of the studio since the days of Jazz Jackrabbit, back when the word “Mega” was sandwiched between “Epic” and “Games,” I’m happy to see a studio so committed to development excellence continue to thrive in both the game(s) it makes, and the tech that pumps through the industry’s veins.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
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    December 27, 2018 7:00 AM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Shacknews Best Developer of 2018 - Epic Games

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      December 27, 2018 7:03 AM

      Interesting. My vote would go to Sony Santa Monica studio for basically being dead to releasing the GOTY God of War

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        December 27, 2018 7:10 AM

        I gotta give it to Epic for being transparent about costs and putting other distributors on blast.

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        December 27, 2018 10:38 AM

        dead cells is game of the year :(

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        December 27, 2018 12:42 PM

        Thanks! f I recall, the choice came down to Epic and SSM. What Cory Barlow and his team did for Kratos and BOY was exemplary, especially considering who and what Kratos had been for years. But Epic’s knack for reinventing itself over the last few decades was a bigger deal to many of us, me included. So many of its contemporaries lose their way. Epic stays ahead of the curve, and often sets the curve that others follow. This year for Epic demonstrates that to a T.

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          December 27, 2018 12:51 PM

          Exactly, they have an excellent and nearly unparalleled business sense of games in a way that nobody else except perhaps Blizzard can say. Valve really needs to watch out if they care about Steam market share.

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      December 27, 2018 7:05 AM

      That's a solid choice! Note that you've got a small typo in the second paragraph from the end--

      thrown their hates into the ring

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      December 27, 2018 11:17 AM

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