Founded in 1991, Epic has long been a pioneer of cool PC games, new business models, and boundary-defining game technologies. Epic was founded by Tim Sweeney (Jill of the Jungle, Unreal), and joined shortly after by Mark Rein (VP of Marketing), James Schmalz (Epic Pinball, Extreme Pinball, Unreal), and Cliff Bleszinski (Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal).
Along with Apogee and id Software, Epic was one of the three companies that pioneered shareware games and turned online distribution into a viable business model. Epic's hit shareware releases included Jazz Jackrabbit, One Must Fall, and Epic Pinball, released in 1994. Epic released Extreme Pinball and FireFight in retail through Electronic Arts in 1996.
Early Unreal research began in mid-1994 and continued on until the complete development team was formed, the title was signed with GT Interactive, and full development begain in early 1996. Unreal has defined the leading edge of 3D technology, introducing to the genre such new features as fully dynamic lighting, volumetric and atmospheric lighting, what-you-see-is-what-you-get development tools, a next-generation scripting language, and extraordinary customizability.
In addition to its leading-edge game development efforts, Epic is a pioneer of licensing its technology to top-tier third-party developers. Licensees of the Unreal technology include 3D Realms (Duke Nukem Forever); Ion Storm (Deus Ex); Microprose (Star Trek: Klingon Honor Guard; X-Com Alliance); Legend Entertainment (Wheel of Time); GT Interactive (Abe's Odyssey 3D)--see the Partners page for the complete list.
Epic views its technology licensing partners as strategic and long-term part of the company's strategy.
Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, Epic MegaGames, Inc. is a privately held company with no outside investors. The company's financials are audited by Ernst & Young, and it retains the services of Hunton & Williams.
First and foremost, we aim to create ecosystems around our games and technology. While much of the PC game industry focuses on churning out SKU's, we see things differently.
To put it simply, we want to build an industry. We want our games and our technology to support a flourishing community of game players, enthusiasts, and commercial game developers. Turning this goal into a reality has required three committments:
Recognizing the perils of growth for independent game developers, we have long held to a slow, conservative growth strategy. Currently numbering under 25 employeees, we are remaining focused on developing one game and one engine at a time.