date of creation
January 15, 1991
number of employees
Epic Games is a video game and software development company that was founded by Tim Sweeney in the early 1990s. The company is well-known within the industry for creating the Unreal Engine, which is a backbone of video game development to this day, but the company only became lucrative after the success of Fortnite:Battle Royale.
Epic Games is a video game and software development company. Along with developing games for PCs, consoles, mobiles, VR, and the web – most notably Gears of War, Fortnite and Infinity Blade – the company also licenses its video game engine technologies to developers worldwide.
Epic Games began life as Potomac Computer Systems in Maryland where it released a single game, Zzt, for MS-DOS. The company changed names to Epic MegaGames in 1992 – a name chosen to give the impression of a large, successful company. At the time, Sweeney was the only employee.
The company’s first major success came with the development of the Unreal Engine. This was revolutionary for game design – it combined a rich game engine with a powerful graphics environment and it allowed developers to create complex video games with ease. It was used to build the well-received 1998 first-person shooter called Unreal.
The company continued to develop the Unreal Engine, with subsequent versions becoming a cornerstone of the video game industry and the engine was used to build Xbox, Playstation, PC and Mobile games. The company uses the engine for all of their own games including Gears of War and Unreal Tournament, and the Unreal Engine was used for famous games created by other developers including Borderlands 3, Sea of Thieves, Jedi: Fallen Order, the Batman:Arkham games, and importantly, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).
Soon after the release of PUBG, Epic Games released a free-to-play mode for Fortnite, called Fortnite:Battle Royale, taking inspiration from the success of PUBG. By May 2018 Fortnite:Battle Royale had over 125 million players and had grossed nearly $1 billion through microtransactions. By July 2018 Epic Games had become more than just a video game developer – the company was now a recognized name that was worth more than $8.5 billion.
In August 2020, Epic Games made the decision to allow payments directly to Epic through the Fortnite mobile game, circumventing the Apple and Play Store revenue sharing model. This immediately led to both companies removing Fortnite from their stores, a move that Sweeney has been highly critical of, and this ultimately saw Epic Games’ becoming embroiled in several antitrust lawsuits against Apple and Google.
Epic Games is a video game and software development company. It develops games for PCs, consoles, mobiles, VR, and the web. The company also offers game engine technologies to developers worldwide. Epic Games created the Unreal, Gears of War, Fortnite, and Infinity Blade games.