Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Epic Games is a leading interactive entertainment company and provider of 3D engine technology. Epic operates Fortnite, the world’s largest game with over 350 million accounts and 2.5 billion friend connections. Epic also develops Unreal Engine, which powers the world’s leading games and is being adopted across industries such as film and television, architecture, automotive, and manufacturing for visualization and simulation. Epic has over 2,000 employees across 35 offices worldwide with headquarters in Cary, North Carolina.
Epic Games is a developer of gaming software and applications designed for gamers and game developers to publish and play immersive games. The company specializes in developing games, engine technology, and operates a game store that empowers others to make quality games and 3D content, providing game developers the ability to build high-fidelity, interactive experiences for PC, console, mobile, and virtual reality devices.
Epic Games has three primary revenue sources: Fortnite, the Unreal Engine, and the Game Store.
Fortnite is a free-to-play game but offers in-game purchases such as outfits, skins, and accessories paid with real money. Fortnite also hosts paid events, engages in numerous sponsorships, sells merchandise, and offers an alternative paid version of the game.
“Fortnite” quickly became a global phenomenon after its debut in 2017. While it is best known for its free “Battle Royale” mode, where 100 players duke it out until only one combatant or squad remains, it is also home to concerts, movies and designated areas just for socializing.
Epic also develops Unreal Engine, which powers the world’s leading games and is also adopted across industries such as film and television, architecture, automotive, manufacturing, and simulation.
Unreal Engine enables game developers and creators across industries to realize next-generation real-time 3D content and experiences with greater freedom, fidelity, and flexibility than ever before.
Unreal Engine 5 provides the tools and assets you need to create truly expansive, incredibly immersive and realistic interactive worlds for your players, participants, and stakeholders to explore, using content that scales.
Unreal Engine gives you everything you need to start, ship, grow, and stand out from the crowd, from design visualizations and cinematic experiences to high-quality games across PC, console, mobile, VR, and AR.
Epic’s Unreal Engine generates revenue through licensing agreements with developers and creators, and Epic’s games primarily follow a free-to-play model on PC and an in-app purchase model on the digital marketplace. The Company’s storefront Epic Games Store earns a fee on game sales.
The Epic Game store contains over 917 titles for sale, with over 89 free games, nearly doubling what was available to customers in 2020.
About $840 million was spent through the store in 2021, up 20% from 2020. Third-party games represented 36% of all sales with more than $300 million in player spending, a 12% increase from 2020.
In April 2022, Epic announced a $2 billion funding round that includes a respective $1 billion investment from existing investor Sony Group Corporation and from KIRKBI, the holding company behind the LEGO Group. The three partners plan to combine expertise and technologies to influence the future of entertainment and digital play by developing new virtual production initiatives and digital fan experiences in sports and gaming.
Epic Games and Lego will build a metaverse aimed at kids. The companies aim to shape the future of the metaverse to make it safe and fun for children while building an immersive digital experience for kids to play in.
“This investment will accelerate our work to build the metaverse and create spaces where players can have fun with friends, brands can build creative and immersive experiences and creators can build a community and thrive.” Said Tim Sweeney, CEO and Founder, Epic Games.
“As a creative entertainment company, we are thrilled to invest in Epic to deepen our relationship in the metaverse field, a space where creators and users share their time. We are also confident that Epic’s expertise, including their powerful game engine, combined with Sony’s technologies, will accelerate our various efforts such as the development of new digital fan experiences in sports and our virtual production initiatives.” Said Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Group Corporation.
The Unreal Engine 5 was released in April 2022, which marked a generational leap in technological capabilities and workflows delivered to millions of creators across games, entertainment, and beyond. Unreal Engine 5 includes groundbreaking features Nanite and Lumen for bringing incredibly realistic interactive experiences to life, plus new systems for creating massive open worlds, and new developer-friendly authoring tools and workflows to speed up the creative process.
In October 2022, Epic announced Unreal Engine 5.1, which improves upon the features delivered with the release of Unreal Engine 5, creating more streamlined and easy-to-use workflows for real-time 3D content creation.
In September 2022, the first NFT game was added to the Epic Games store. This is in light of the companies open welcome to blockchain based games. Epic Games told The Verge that, although there might be some limitations, it is open to working with developers who want to use blockchain technology, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies in games that could appear on the publisher’s digital storefront.
In September 2022, Epic Games and Autodesk announced a strategic collaboration to accelerate immersive real-time 3D experiences across industries, with an initial focus on architecture, engineering and construction. The partnership aims to make immersive environments and collaborative workflows easily accessible to designers, engineers, and construction professionals, so they can deliver more innovative projects in less time.
In September 2022, Tesla announced that it is creating a simulation of San Francisco in Unreal Engine to test its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving systems.
In November 2022, Epic Games revealed Unreal Engine 5.1, , building upon the groundbreaking feature set introduced in UE5 to enable even easier and faster 3D content creation. A range of stress-tested new features and improvements in 5.1 make Unreal even more robust, efficient, and versatile for creators across all industries.
In March 2023, Epic Games announced Creator Economy 2.0, the next generation of the Fortnite economy. Creator Economy 2.0 launched engagement payouts, a new way for eligible island creators to receive money based on engagement with their published island content. As part of Creator Economy 2.0, Epic plans to distribute 40 percent of Fortnite’s net revenue to “eligible creators who publish games in Fortnite,” a description that includes Epic itself.
In April 2023, Epic Games announced the acquisition of AQUIRIS. The AQUIRIS team will be the foundation of Epic Games Brasil, the first Epic studio in Latin America. Founded in 2007, AQUIRIS is best known for its award-winning titles including Wonderbox and the Horizon Chase franchise. Headquartered in the city of Porto Alegre, the AQUIRIS team of developers will join Epic Games to create groundbreaking content and social experiences within Fortnite.