European territory manager Mike Gamble looks at the changing landscape of the development industry and reveals why he's optimistic about the future of games
Year founded: 1991
For any readers who might not know, tell us a little more about your company and its goal.
At Epic Games, we have a history of developing cutting-edge games and game development technology stretching back over two decades including such titles as Unreal Tournament, Gears of War and the Infinity Blade series, and of course Unreal Engine now in its fourth generation.
At Epic we are shipping Paragon, Fortnite, the new Unreal Tournament and Spyjinx – as well as constant updates to the tools and code behind them. In a nutshell our goal is to create great games and to put our world-class engine in the hands of everyone who has an interest in games development whether they be enthusiasts, indie developers or triple-A studios.
What differentiates you from similar outfits? What’s unique about you?
Alongside making sure that the most up to date version of our engine is available to all for free, we have an incredibly friendly and helpful community and extensive learning resources.
Regarded as one of the most accessible fully featured and user-friendly developer tools available, native tools such as Blueprint which empowers developers to prototype numerous gameplay approaches incredibly quickly and our regular update schedule (Unreal Engine 4.12 supports Open Source Virtual Reality straight out of the box, for example) make us the stand out choice for high production value development.
What excites you about the games industry and games development today?
Most people would agree in saying VR and the potential it brings to the industry in terms of new audiences and experiences is incredibly exciting and will definitely help to prevent stagnation, but I think this is aided by a breadth of new talent that we’re seeing flooding in.
Sony and Microsoft have done a great job in lowering the barriers to entry for indie developers and that’s something we have embraced making UE4 free and building such a loyal and skilled community.
I genuinely feel we are in a golden age of creative game development where access to technology is no longer a barrier to success.
What do you think the line-up of this year’s Develop Awards finalists says about the industry today?
I think it’s a sign of how healthy things are – with what happened to Lionhead and Evolution Studios earlier this year, there’s a tendency to think everything is coming to an end.
While it’s always incredibly sad to lose such storied studios with talented employees, the diversity in the nominees shows we should be hopeful. You’ve got big triple-A titles sitting next to tiny indies.
The industry is changing – there’s no question about that – but it’s becoming more nimble; more diverse. That can only be a good thing.
Do you have a message for the finalists?
Just a huge congratulations to everyone who was nominated – I talked earlier about how driven the Unreal Engine is by its community, and it’s the exact same with the games industry.
To see such a different range of experiences on offer, from the personal projects to large-scale blockbusters, makes it a great time to in the industry.
Anything else you’d like to add about your company or the Develop Awards?
We look forward to seeing you all at the Awards – it’s one of my favourite nights of the year – be sure to come and say hi!
About the Develop Awards
This year's Develop Awards take place on Wednesday, July 13th at the Brighton Hilton Metropole, and honour the best in games development talent from across the UK and Europe.
You can find a full list of this year's finalists here.
The awards are supported by headline partner CV Bay, with gold partners MoGi Group, Amiqus, Epic Games, Sumo Digital, Crytek, Perforce, Games London, UKIE, and King. OPM returns as table gift partner, alongside exclusive drinks reception partner Keywords Studios, table drink and gold partner Nordeus, and event partner Tandem Events. Epic Games are also an award partner, as are Aardvark Swift. Unity is award and opening video partner.
Contact Charlotte Nangle via firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about the opportunities available, both at the event and in editorial coverage before, during and after the Awards.