(Credits to epic games store)

Epic Games and its 31 year-long journey as a developer

Case Study May 30, 2022

One of the most famous international game developers, Epic Games was established 31 years ago in Potomac, Maryland, the US as Potomac Computer Systems. Epic Games has developed some of the most popular games of the past 2 decades. In this blog, we'll take a detailed look at how Epic Games was established and how it evolved to be in this position.


Epic Games, Inc. is an American video game and software developer and publisher based in Cary, North Carolina. The company was founded by Tim Sweeney as Potomac Computer Systems in 1991, originally located in his parents' house in Potomac, Maryland. As humble as the start of Epic Games was, it is an immense success today.

Following his first commercial video game release, ZZT (1991), the company became Epic MegaGames, Inc. in early 1992 and brought on Mark Rein, who has been its vice president since. Moving its headquarters to Cary in 1999, the studio's name was simplified to Epic Games.

History of Epic Games

When Sweeney came up with the idea of Epic Games he was studying mechanical engineering and living in a dorm at the University of Maryland. He frequently visited his parents, who lived in nearby Potomac, Maryland, where his personal computer, used for both work and leisure, was situated. Out of this location, Sweeney started Potomac Computer Systems as a computer consulting business but later figured that it would be too much work he would have to put into keeping the business stable and scrapped the idea.

After finishing his game ZZT, Sweeney opted to re-use the Potomac Computer Systems name to release the game to the public in January 1991. It was only the unexpected success of ZZT, caused in most part by the easy modifiability of the game using Sweeney's custom ZZT-oop programming language, that made Sweeney consider turning Potomac Computer Systems into a video game company.

In early 1992, Sweeney found himself and his newfound video game company in a business where larger studios, such as Apogee Software and id Software, were dominant, and he had to find a more serious name for his. As such, Sweeney came up with "Epic MegaGames", a name that incorporated "Epic" and "Mega" to make it sound like it represented a fairly large company (such as Apogee Software), although he was its only employee. Hence, was born Epic Games.

(Credits to Vox Media)

Games and products launched by Epic Games

Epic Games is the proprietor of some of the most games. Some of them are:

  • Unreal Engine - Epic is the proprietor of four successful game engines in the video game industry. The four engines Epic has created are the Unreal Engine 1, Unreal Engine 2 (including its 2.5 and 2.X releases), Unreal Engine 3, and Unreal Engine 4. Epic has provided support for filmmakers who have utilized the Unreal Engine to create virtual sets for productions such as the hit show ‘The Mandalorian’.
  • Fortnite Battle Royale - Fortnite Battle Royale is a free-to-play battle royale video game developed and published by Epic Games. It is a companion game to Fortnite: Save the World, a cooperative survival game with construction elements.
  • Shadow Complex is a platform-adventure Metroidvania video game developed by Chair Entertainment in association with Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox 360 in 2009.
  • Epic Games Store - Epic announced its own Epic Games Store, an open digital storefront for games, on December 4, 2018, which launched a few days later with The Game Awards 2018 presentation.

There have been many more games and products by Epic Games in the last 31 years of its career. The above-mentioned are some of the most notable ones.

Influence of Epic Games’ creations on the Esports World

In a very unstable industry such as Esports, not many brands survive the test of time but Epic Games did the exact opposite of it. From the time of its establishment, it has had such a great impact on the Gaming world. Epic Games can comprehend and adapt to its huge audience, and "Fortnite" has provided a new model to which this kind of continuous game can aspire. Fortnite is one of the biggest examples of Epic Games’ impact on the Esports world. Fortnite has inspired a cultural phenomenon beyond that of almost any other recent video game, with more than 250 million players worldwide. Epic has used the success of "Fortnite" as leverage to challenge the way the gaming business regulates. Epic Games also develops Unreal Engine, the most advanced real-time 3D creation tool that powers Fortnite and is used in industries beyond games. These two examples are a clear picture of the impact that Epic Games has on the market.

(Credits to Epic Games)

How did Epic Games become such a huge success?

There is no doubt about the fact that Epic Games has left a mark on the Esports industry and it'll be known forever for its remarkable impact on the Gaming world. In 2014, Unreal Engine was named the "most successful videogame engine" by Guinness World Records. In January 2018, it was announced that Epic had acquired Cloudgine, a developer of cloud-based gaming software. Epic announced in October 2018 that it had acquired $1.25 billion in investment from seven firms.  Epic acquired Psyonix, the developer of Rocket League, in May 2019.

These investments, new game launches, and multiple such projects led to the success of Epic Games in being one of the most valued developers in the Esports community.

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