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Epic's Rein: '$1bn? We're not that cheap'

A speculative editorial in US magazine GamePro has set the blog rumour mill in motion by claiming that Epic will be bought by Microsoft for $1bn by the summer.

Epic hasn't commented on the actual veracity of the claim (as any privately-owned, profitable company ripe for a big money buyout in a growth market probably wouldn't) but when contacted by Develop, VP Mark Rein wasn't shy of making light of the latest speculation - suggesting the firm he co-founded was worth at least double the amount claimed by GamePro.

"I have not seen the actual GamePro article but if they're going to make predictions about us selling Epic we would prefer if they started at $2 billion," he said. "Because we don't want anyone thinking that we're cheap."

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developmag.com
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sonarus3353d ago

lol i smell a buy out. I think epic could be key to helping msoft regain ground in 2008

PumPum3353d ago

Epic has already released its big hitter UT3! Gears2 isnt coming on ps3 anyways and i doubt it will shift consoles. The game will sell good but not any new systems.
It would be a waste of MS money. IMO wont happen.

Odion3353d ago

you think Gears 2 won't move consoles??? CRAZY!+

FirstknighT3353d ago

"The game will sell good but not any new systems."

LMAO. If history teaches us anything, it's that games/movies/music usually sells double to triple the amount of the original. Gears of War 2 will be the second biggest game in 2008 next to GTA.

PumPum3353d ago

I dont think Gears2 will move alot of new consoles because most of the sales will come from ppl who bought gears1 and ALREADY OWNS A 360.
Good game , multiplayer kinda sucked after a while.

mikeslemonade3352d ago

Gears 2 is a hardcore game and 360 has already pretty much maximized their potential portion of the hardcore install base. Looking at PS2 if you really think 50 million of the PS2 ownser of the 120 million are hardcore than you will be sadly mistaken. Gears 2 will move systems but not as much as the xbox supporters think it would. It won't move more than what Halo 3 did. Also people are already getting sick of the unreal 3 engine games and the unreal 4 engine probably won't be able to run on the 360 anyway.

And Microsoft game studios can waste there $2 billion on Epic. I'd be happy if they did because then they would be in an even larger debt then they are now. They would be stupid to spend more money after having 2 profitable quarters in a row.

solidt123352d ago

I think it would be smarter to buy a company that is kinda below the radar for less and then create a new exciting IP. Thats too much for them to spend right now for Epic and too risky for Epic also. But I do agree that they need to buy at least one company soon.

sonarus3352d ago (Edited 3352d ago )

gears 2 will sell fine but it wnt move as much consoles as the original did. Not saying it won't move consoles but it simply won't move as much as the original. Gears was a great game when it came out it was the best game out for a LONG time, it got a lot of attention and that translated to a lot of sales. If it dosent come out as the best game dnt expect to see the same sales. If it does however it will sell more than the last but not move as many consoles. I personally dnt think they can do it because the competition is a LOT stiffer this yr that it was when they came out with only resistance to duel with. Gears was a great game but i am not really excited for it. Maybe when i see gameplay i will get excited but till then i'll jst wait and see

robbo9183352d ago (Edited 3352d ago )

You are always bashing PS3 sequels, so guess you mean only X360 sequels make tons of money and sell systems.

As to the topic this is getting interesting. I wonder if Epic leaked the original story then this to try and get MS and Sony into a bidding war? Stranger things have happened.

The people saying MS should buy Capcom, I think Sony would get into a bidding war for them (maybe not though) and it would take a "tad" bit more to buy Capcom if they even want bought (see Yahoo!).

slpknt6sic63352d ago

no gears 2 will not be the 2nd bigest game of 2008, it will be like number 6 behind gta4, mgs4, super smash bros, killzone2, and resistace2, maybe noth that order but not close to number 2 thats for sure.

Willio3352d ago

Sorry to say this but the truth is SEQUELS on the same generation console does not help much in selling hardware because the installbase is already there to buy the same game. Creative IPs / new games help sell consoles.

wageslave3352d ago

Im pretty sure the whole industry sees that it is Sony who needs to "gain ground" in 2008.

But, nice try you know. Debates are all about framing. And, on this forum the "PS3 outsold Xbox 360 in 2007" and "Sony has a lot of great software, and Xbox 360 has none" are pretty laughable ideas... keep up the good work.

Shine on you crazy diamond.

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conjurdevil3353d ago (Edited 3353d ago )

who do they think they are $1 billion=cheap??
I think they are boasting too much ater gears of war!!I mean stating PC gaming in a "disarray"!why? because their sucky game(UT3) did not sell well on pc?!

Fishy Fingers3353d ago (Edited 3353d ago )

Regardless what you think, UT3 was/is a fantastic game. Ive notice a reoccurring problem with people on this site.

Game sales do not depict quality. Also, it hasnt even been released outside of the US yet (PS3).

Still_Breathing3352d ago

I think people are missing out on the Yahoo/Microsoft buyout reference.
When Microsoft wanted to buy Yahoo for some odd billion dollars, Yahoo responded by saying that they're not that cheap. Epic is just having fun with that.

Willio3352d ago

Gears was a great game but the real money is from licensing Unreal Engine.

Fishy Fingers3353d ago

I really hope it doesnt happen. I like developers to look after themselves, that way they are forced to put maximum effort into their games, otherwise their cheques dont get paid.

It would also be a huge shame to cut out PS3 gamers from sharing in Epics games.

Also Epic make huge money from farming out their engine to other developers, would this continue if MS were at the helm? i doubt it.

MK_Red3353d ago

LOL, he just announced the price. j/k

I hope this buy out frenzy stops. Great devs should remain independent. I'm still sad about BioWare becoming part of EA and now this rumor...

LOVE_FOR_GAMES3352d ago

i think big dev-teams should stay independet and get their good support.
smaller dev-teams should get much better support they often could not create that what was in their mind because of low budget.

low budget = no own engine
low budget = less time
low budget = less motivated people
low budget = no climb as high as they can dream mother f*cker ...

Jdoki3353d ago (Edited 3353d ago )

Epic are NEVER worth 1 billion! It wouldn't surprise me to find that Epic 'leaked' the story of MS buying them just to drum up interest in a buyout...

MS surely have learned their lesson from buying Rare! Even if the next Banjo game turns out to be the best thing ever there's no way Rare's output has been worth their price.

Epic are turning in to a one trick pony, and even that trick is starting to look old. Unreal Tournament hasn't sold well and other than improving the graphics it's not a big leap over the older versions. That leaves them with Gears, which is huge, but MS already have Epic locked in to dev Gears 2, and I believe MS also own the IP for Gears... So what do they gain?

Essentially MS would be paying a billion for the Unreal Engine; and if MS can't engineer their own engine for half that cost then there's a serious problem right there!

Sure it would stop Epic releasing games for the PS3 (and Wii if they were so inclined), but is that really worth a billion dollars? I don't think many PS3 owners would lament not getting the next Unreal Tourney (in what, another 2 or 3 years time) with the abundance of good FPS games coming. Also, it's unlikely (impossible) Gears would ever have appeared on PS3, so again, no loss to Sony or PS3 owners.

This isn't a flame at MS, purely a look at what can they gain.. I initially thought (and wrote in a previous post) that this would be a great idea for MS, but 1 BILLION dollars is just a crazy amount for what they stand to gain.

Bibto3353d ago (Edited 3353d ago )

Unless it's a tactic from Microsoft to buy all Unreal Engine Technology and stop Epic from developing the engine any further for the PS3, or even stop them from licensing the PS3 version of the engine entirely.

3rd Party devs using the Unreal Engine for multi-platform development (of which there are quite a few) would then be forced to stay 360 exclusive, or develop their own engine.

MS knows that the real money lies in the software, and not the hardware. Buying Epic could be a two punch combo for them. First, they stand to make a lot of money from licensing the Unreal Engine, and Second, they could kill of any future PS3 games being developed with the Unreal Engine.

I really hope it doesn't happen though. I would hate to see MS win this console war by simply buying out the competition.

Jdoki3352d ago

Valid points Bibto.

The only thing I would add is that while Unreal Engine is obviously hugely popular with third party cross platform devs, it's not the only choice.

All the big publishers have alternatives (Renderware is now EA's and Burnout is a very good advert for the powe rof that engine). Ubisoft have something special going on as well (name escapes me right now). iD have a new engine coming soon as well. Plus all the big PS3 developers have custom engines (Kojima Productions, Naughty Dog, Insomniac, Polyphony, Square Enix).

The Unreal Engine can render some stunning visuals, but has yet to show destructible or very interactive environments. Also, it's been criticised for alck of support (at times) and difficulty fitting it to the PS3 (possibly a thing of the past).

Also, any third party dev who has a UE powered PS3 games in development have contracts and service level agreements in place. The backlash MS would face if it severed those contracts would hurt the 360 on many levels.

Genki3352d ago

Killzone 2.

It's no coincidence that quaint little Guerrilla Games got an inflated staff, budget, and time frame to complete this game.

It's a big fat PS3 coding and engine project, bet on that. Even if they don't license the actual engine itself, the development is heavily outsourced, so don't expect what these folks are learning to remain closely guarded secrets after release.

Beyond that, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw several tech documents released from Guerrilla and Sony after the game hits shelves as well. I doubt that any single individual coding for the PS3 isn't curious about how they're achieving what they are right now.

If this were to happen though, I wouldn't at all be surprised to see this engine get licensed, but if it doesn't, I'm expecting a lot of documentation. That Insomniac piece and what GG released at E3 last year were just a taste of things to come, I reckon.

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