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Is Microsoft Buying Epic?

AlienLion writes:
Let us take a quick look at Epic Games and what has been happening there, because it almost seems like something stinky might be brewing behind the closed windows and doors. Of course, the big news today is that the president of the company, Mike Capps is stepping down after a decade of service. That is not that remarkable in itself, if you are not aware that there have been suspiciously many such moves from Epic, as of late.

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OneAboveAll1393d ago

That would be pretty great in my opinion! They can still make PC games too. (although for GFWL which doesn't bother me like most cry babies)

Epic also had a lot of design input when it came to the Xbox 360. They told Microsoft they needed more ram than it was originally going to have and they got their wish.

Hope to see a new Unreal game on the next Xbox.

maximaz1393d ago

"Epic also had a lot of design input when it came to the Xbox 360."

Hmmm? I wasn't aware of that. Maybe this time they do too?

QuantumWake1393d ago

I believe it was Epic who convinced Microsoft to put in 512MB of RAM instead of 256MB. They told MS that Gears 1 would not be able to look/run good with just 256MB of memory.

slapedurmomsace1393d ago

They didn't have a lot of input, but hey convinced MS to bump the ram from 256 to 512. Can you imagine how gimped these games would be with 256 to work with?

humbleopinion1393d ago

They didn't just tell them, they actually showed them.

Anyway, this article is pretty pointless and conspirative: when a company buys another company, the first thing they sign is that key talent must stay on board for a certain period of time. Otherwise they are simply risking buying an empty shell of a company since everyone can leave at once. Key people leaving Epic now is actually an indication this is not going to happen.

Not to mention: Epic's bread and butter is the Unreal Engine itself being licensed to almost every major studio and even indie devs. What would become of this source of revenue once MS acquires them? This engine is the top engine in the industry because it scales from consoles to iphones, and once it becomes exclusive to a certain platform most studios will drop it. This simply doesn't make any sense.

Not to mentioned the hilarious biased point of view of the writer:
"Barely a month ago, another big name left the company in Cliff Bleszinski. As hugely annoying as that dude could be, he created some decent waves in the industry, on occasion..."
Just LMAO at "Decent waves of games, on occasions". Way to understate the contribution of someone who's responsible for award winning series from Jazz Jackrabbit, through Unreal Tournament to Gears of War. What's next? Claiming that "Shigeru Miyamoto made a a few games that don't suck here and there" perhaps?

Zhipp1393d ago

@humbleopinion
What?! Cliffy B. was behind Jazz Jackrabbit? I friggin' loved that game! Used to play it with my siblings all the time...good times.

Anyway, M$ buying Epic wouldn't necessarily mean they'd have to stop licensing out Unreal--not if they're smart, anyway.

nukeitall1393d ago

I think your comment is pretty spot on, albeit I think MS buying Epic and licensing Unreal to competing platform would be just fine (for MS) as they can now better shift preferences to their console.

MS has shown that they are willing to invest in competing platforms.

nukeitall1393d ago

I think your comment is pretty spot on, albeit I think MS buying Epic and licensing Unreal to competing platform would be just fine (for MS) as they can now better shift preferences to their console.

MS has shown that they are willing to invest in competing platforms in the past.

pixelsword1393d ago

If everyone's bailing out, that's like someone buying a bag of peanuts, but only getting the shells.

They're just buying the name, not the people who made the games great.

crusadernm1392d ago SpamShow
ShinMaster1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

Cliff, Mike Capps and other employees at Epic are starting to resign, just like Rare employees did by the time Microsoft bought them.

Gears Of War Kinect confirmed(?)

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 1392d ago
showtimefolks1393d ago

i really hope NOT. Sony,MS and Nintendo should look to buyer the smaller studios and leave these billion dollar companies alone.

i rather have them spend $100 million on xblive and just hire bunch of smaller devs to work on xblive games.

Dlacy13g

get your facts straight MS killed Rare. and Until 343 studios work on something new you can never say MS proved anything. one thing i do give MS about 343 studios is how many top talent developers they hired for 343 studios.

i wish Nintendo would just buy Rare back

KMCROC1393d ago

Get your fact straight rare was shit before MS bought them.

showtimefolks1393d ago

KMCROC

lol

Donkey Kong Country, Killer Instinct, GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark and Conker's Bad Fur Day.

In 2002, the company was wholly purchased by Microsoft and has since focused on developing games exclusively for Microsoft video game consoles. Rare since then has developed Kameo: Elements of Power, the Viva Piñata series, and the Kinect Sports series

see the difference? they use to make games than MS bought em and all the talent left and what was left work on crappy games and than even they left

there is a reason both sony and nintendo has so many studios yet being bought by MS is like a death sentence

Kalowest1393d ago (Edited 1393d ago )

"Kameo: Elements of Power and the Viva Piñata series" Are awesome, so was the last Banjo game.

cee7731393d ago (Edited 1393d ago )

@bitbydeath

"Why would MS pay $375 million for a dead company?"

To make your precious avatars and kinect games.

MCSFT:)mwahahaahaha

if they buy epic it will be just
gears,halo,gears,halo. over and cover.

JoelJD141393d ago

@cee773

IP's and copyrights. doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

Syntax-Error1393d ago (Edited 1393d ago )

Why do you think they were able to be bought so cheap. They were in the toilet. What was Rare's last hit? When MS bought them they churned out Perfect Dark Zero which was trash and it's been downhill since then. Donkey Kong Country and Golden Eye was the old Rare. MS didn't buy Rare when they were on top. They bought them when they were struggling. Looking at their body of work when the N64 was relevant shows how short minded you are. What did they do during the PS2/Xbox generation? Of course MS is going to buy the company for the license of the Unreal Engine. Do you really think it's just for the game development? They are looking at the bigger picture. Games can flop and could turn out to be a loss, but that same crappy game is running on an engine. That's where the money is. Why open a restaurant or bar when 75% of them fail when you can sell the equipment they need to operate.

cee773-You are a shallow thinker and would never make it in business. Thinking they would buy a company for Gears is retarded. They already have that locked down, so why buy the company? IPs, Copyrights, and Trademarks are worth more you idiot. They would own the #1 game development engine in the world. The engine alone could sell for 15 million to a developer....DUH, small eyes

nukeitall1393d ago

@Syntax-Error:

You are spot on!

If MS really wanted Gears alone, they could easily just lock it down with a contract like they already have with Gears 1-3 and now Judgement.

A game can flop, making the IP pretty worthless (not literally). Now buying expertise and technology is a whole other set of questions, but then again I don't see why a company like MS would have any problems creating a game engine that rivals Unreal.

They already created a fantastic engine for Halo 4 with 343 Industries.

Jek_Porkins1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

Please do research before you post the same regurgitated statements that ignorant fanboys post.

Rare was basically a shovelware developer for the NES in the 1980's, they put out over 50 games, mostly licensed properties like Sesame Street and Nightmare On Elm Street. They had mass turnover because of working conditions.

Eventually they made some quality games, but the team that built GoldenEye on the N64 was actually a brand new side division of Rare whose members had never made a game before. The core of Rare at that time was working on other projects.

There were mass quitting again shortly after Banjo Kazooie was released. Rare has made some great games, but they have gone through a ton of turnovers and have had their fair share of troubles and flops. I've enjoyed a lot of what they've done, but don't list a game like Conker, which was released on N64 and flopped, Microsoft gave that IP a chance and it flopped again, selling less than 50k.

Killer Instinct was good, but the second one flopped as well. Not every game that is well made sells well.

On the topic of Epic, I could see Microsoft buying them, for one thing it would be a constant source of income because of the licensing rights to the Unreal Engine.

As for 343i, they are specifically a Halo developer, that is Microsot's killer app and 343i was built to work on those games. They aren't going to be making anything else. Its the Reclaimer Trilogy that they are working on for the foreseeable future.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 1392d ago
fr0sty1393d ago

they pretty much already have.

torchic1393d ago

yup, that's pretty true.

as a non Xbox owner it would make no difference to my life whatsoever.

Kratoscar20081392d ago

Yeah nothing new there, if MS end buying them no one would notice the difference.

scofios1393d ago

If Microsoft is buying Epic Games , i don't think Cliffy b would have left epic then ,he is the biggest MS fanboy .

BertlSenix1393d ago

Cliffy B always said he wants Gears on other platforms but as long as M$ is good to them(MONEY!!!) they won't do that but other projects could be realized on other platforms.

This is why Cliffy B probably wanted to leave and go Multiplat.
He maybe wants to try his skills on an other crowd of gamers and we all know this is only possible with the Sony Community cause they don't only play Shooters.

onyoursistersback1393d ago

i dont think it will happen....
on topic....i have not seen any news on the new gears of war game....im thinking its getting can.

Boysangur1393d ago

They said there would be gameplay footage debuting this friday on VGA's.

DOMination-1393d ago

Won't happen. Epic would cost a LOT and MS already have 20 first party studios now. I doubt they need any more mega studios

bicfitness1393d ago

Agree with the first part, disagree with the second. MS do not have 20 1st party studios. In order of # of studios for the three manufacturers: Sony > Nintendo > MS

DOMination-1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

Microsoft Game Studios have 19
http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

Sony Computer Entertainment have 13
http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

Nintendo have at least 13
http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

Leviathan1392d ago

@ Domination:I looked at that Wikipedia list.First, lets count studios that actually make games. Microsoft has 343, turn ten , twisted pixel, Xbox live productions, lionhead and rare. That is 7 studios. All those others listed only make kinekt games. Some of these studios listed here only make 1 game and some of these studios only make downloadable games. If we ignore those Microsoft is left with ... nothing. But we all know Microsoft doesn't need
to sell GAMES to succeed. It has a different business model. XBOX Live.

NeverEnding19891392d ago

@ Leviathan

Maybe you should look at the list again. 3 of the 20 studios appear to be exclusively making Kinect games.

Meanwhile 12 of those studios are working on Untitled Projects. At least 12 games of tap, mostly likely non-Kinect games, exclusively for the Xbox 360.

Gotta say, it's a good time to be a 360 gamer:) thanks for providing the links Dom

DOMination-1392d ago

@Leviathan

You can't be so picky. I was questioned on how many studios MS has and I provided the evidence. Yes, some have made kinect games but who cares? They are still first party and still count.

By your logic does that mean we don't count SCE London for Sony? Because all they've done it make Singstar and Buzz games or crappy move only games? Do we not include Team Ico because they haven't even made a game this gen? Of course not, that would be ridiculous.

Sony have some incredible first party studios but they have ditched a few recently.. and MS are certainly trying to fix one of the biggest and fairest criticisms aimed at them over recent years. They have a LOT of games in development, exclusively for their next console. Now lets see if they will make good games :)

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1392d ago
Gamer19821393d ago

Please NO! MS have destroyed every games company they have bought in the past bar bungie who only managed to not fall apart thanks to not being 100% MS owned. Look at what happened to RARE for example once a huge name in the gaming world and now a 2nd rate developer that nobody looks forward to their next release. EPIC needs to stay independent for that reason. Ms should take a leaf from Sonys book on how to handle studios when taken over.

liquidhalos1392d ago

What type of stuff was rare putting out when MS bought them? It was my understanding that rare was starting to struggle which is why they sold up. Rare started to slip further into decline in in terms of quality well before the buyout, i dont understand how some people can ignore such basic facts solely for the purpose of doing the old "MS is teh evilness studio killers" routine. Its getting old now. Not to mention that this whole thread is based purely on speculation so what we end up with is people bringing in half truths based on opinions about rare into an argument that is based purely on speculation and circumstance. Its crazy. What ever happened to waiting for the truth before we comment on it?

bicfitness1393d ago

It won't happen. This is ridiculous speculation based on a shift in management and staff.

Epic makes the bulk of their money off Engine licences and they make A LOT. They wouldn't kill or jeopardize that cash cow by locking down their customer base, which MS would seek to do almost immediately.

Not going to happen.

MuhammadJA1392d ago

As a PC gamer, not a big loss. I could live without an Unrel Tournament, Gears or a new Bulletstorm. Even if these franchises will come to PC, they'll support that mess of a client called GfWL which only benefit 360 gamers.

Stewie2k81392d ago

How does that make them cry babies because you are more tolerable of a piece of crap like GFWL -_-

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

Thy bought Rare games to remember?

And they have a bright future..

past: "Rare Wanted To Make Killer Instinct 3 But Microsoft Canned It"
http://www.cinemablend.com/...

present: "Rare sticking with Kinect for its new project"
http://www.eurogamer.net/ar...

future: "Rare hiring new developers for Kinect 2 and Xbox 720 games"
http://www.digitaltrends.co...

3 exclusive core games and 61 exclusive kinect games.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

Why do people like MS again?

Remember these days?
https://www.youtube.com/wat...
vs today
https://www.youtube.com/wat...

They only care to make casual dollars.

And now this?
"Microsoft Is Essentially Making A Casual Xbox"
http://www.uproxx.com/gamma...

If "Casual Xbox" takes off then good luck seeing xbox gamers are already screwed anyway since kinect 2 will be ready day 1 this time around with the new xbox.

I like these guys much better now..
http://www.xbitlabs.com/new...

Why not make casual games but keep your original customers first?

Lvl_up_gamer1392d ago

"Why not make casual games but keep your original customers first?"

They are.

MS makes Fable, Halo and Forza with Gears as a 2nd party IP.

Halo, Forza and Fable are came over from last gen. These are MS's 1st party studios. Therefor they are giving the top selling core games to the core audience. Now that MS is ALSO giving casual games, everyone seems to think that suddenly MS only cares about casuals. It only makes practical sense that MS support their Kinect peripheral. MS have a MUCH larger library of 360 core games found on the 360 then they do casual games yet nobody wants to consider the ENTIRE 360 catalog. They would only rather focus on the current year.

It's just ignorant to think MS are only focusing on the casual market. Right now MS is preparing for their next gen console release which is why the only exclusive core game we know that is coming out next year is Gears of War Judgement. The 720 and the starting game launch for it will be released 4th quarter of 2013.

Bottom line, regardless of what many on this site like to imagine, MS are still pushing their top selling exclusive franchises. Forza Horizon just released and Halo 4. MS also gets timed exclusive DLC for the largest franchise on the market as well....the COD franchise.

The 360 is still just as much of a core system as it is a casual system. It's got something for everyone.

otherZinc1392d ago

With what M$ has done with 343! Gears with that backing would be amazing as hell with replay value to please all fans.

Of course some of the main writers, developers, & programmers must stay & build a team from there, same as with 343.

Also, work something with Cliff to pull him on board & M$ will have something.

rainslacker1392d ago

The bigger question would be, what would MS gain by buying out Epic? While they certainly do have some killer IP's under their belt, outside of Unreal, GOW, and maybe Infinity Blade, most of their games aren't as well known.

Epic's biggest asset is their Unreal Engine. Much of it's popularity is due to the fact that it's powerful and multi-platform. Unless MS would keep it multi-plat it's hard to see the engine staying a major contender in the market, especially since publishers are now making their own powerful multi-plat engines (Frostbite, Luminous, Fox, etc).

Buying out a company only to reduce it's worth doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. If many of the key players from Epic are leaving, then they'd just be buying the name, which unfortunately is nowhere near the value of the company as it is now. If MS is buying it to get exclusive rights to Unreal Engine, then why would they do that. They could produce their own engine for a fraction of the cost. Hate of Love MS, they have some of the best software engineers in their company, and for the most part they do understand pipeline development and usability.

CarlosX3601392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

People leaving Epic sounds like a buyout is likely than not. The signs are there.

M$ needs a vast portfolio of new brands, this is it. But that also means Unreal will no longer be multiplatform.

Microsoft has a keen habit of taking "not-known" names into cult icons. Just like Halo before MS bought it.

Oh, and that Unreal Engine? Most likely they want that so that M$ wouldn't have to spend an extra few billions into development of new SDK's. As they do with each Halo title released, or each Forza title released, etc. etc.

rainslacker1392d ago

Your argument generally makes sense and I won't really dispute it.

However key players in the company are leaving, which is not usually the case before a big buyout occurs. They would stay on because of the big payout they would receive in the transaction. The only reason, if a buyout were true, that they might leave is that MS would have a clause that they'd have to stay on for a while. If true, then they may not approve of the direction that MS would want to take with the company, which is why they are now leaving.

Also, a few billion to develop an engine? That's a gross over-estimation of what it takes to create an engine. If that were the case you wouldn't see all these publishers making their own engines to use, and Epic would not be making money off their engine licenses. I can also assure you that Halo's development budget was not in the billions.

MS is very well equipped to make their own engine if they so desired. They've been making programming tools for longer than most of us have been alive. Not only do they have Visual Studio which could serve as a base, they also have XNA which in itself is a type of game engine. Adding a pipeline development layer for the developer (like you see in most game engines like UE or Unity), would not be that big a deal for them.

Honestly I see these key players leaving as a sign of something else. It's possible they want to do something different. It's not unthinkable that they may be looking at creating their own studio, or they have offers to go work with other big players in the market and they are just biding their time until their non-compete contracts run out.

xtremeimport1392d ago

This would be a big buy for MS since they basically have zero top notch first party Dev teams.

except, I'm pretty sure Epic has been pretty vocal about their dislike of the closed source system MS uses on the xbox. (see unreal tournaments map packs and mod system) So i'm not entirely sure that they'd go through with selling out completely.

CarlosX3601392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

It wouldn't surprise me a bit. Not even the least.

I expected Epic to be bought by M$ when that other buyout rumor started.

This is one of those cases of "a little too late, Microsoft!"

+ Show (13) more repliesLast reply 1392d ago
konnerbllb1393d ago

God I hope not. They killed Rare, they will kill Epic too.

maximaz1393d ago (Edited 1393d ago )

I kinda agree. They did completely destroy Rare.

lelo2play1393d ago

Just like Sony completely destroyed Zipper Interactive (among others).

At least Rare is still alive (and i hope they make better games in the future), but Zipper Interactive is completely dead.

Gamer19821393d ago

Sony destroyed Zipper how? They didn't do no such thing they still released plenty of games for PS3 unlike RARE. They just couldn't keep up with current gen. Zipper wasn't that great anyway. Finally Sony got sick of them losing money and pulled them. Sony did well to stick with them so long.

DonMingos1393d ago

@lelo2play yeah, sony really killed zipper. Look at all the games zipper made before they were part of sony (sarcasm)

And at least they "died" with the game that made them who they were (Socom) and not psMove only games and avatars. That was a noble quick "death" not the slow and humilliating that Rare has being trough

Xalaris1392d ago

@lelo2play

What does any of this have to do with Sony?
Are you in denial or paranoid or some shit? Too many people attacking MS so you assume they're Sony die-hards?

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1392d ago
Dlacy13g1393d ago

MS didnt kill Rare. Rare was DOA when they got to MS. Most if the top talent had already left Rare. MS has shown they can build a top tier studio. .. 343i says hi. Regardless of this rumor something is definitely up at Epic.

-Mika-1393d ago

343 basically copied and pasted the work of bungie so that not really proof of anything.

Until they create a new IP that is rated very well. Then they can be called top tier but until then...

Boysangur1393d ago

Please don't pull **** out of your *** and state it as fact. Rare was doing great at the time of acquisition and most of the key figures didn't leave until after the acquisition, including the founders (Stamper brothers). Hollis himself stated that Microsoft was very ham fisted in its' management of Rare. First there was lack of management and then there was a mess that made a several key people leave.

BitbyDeath1393d ago

Why would MS pay $375 million for a dead company?

guitarded771393d ago

343 took over one of the biggest series ever and made a brilliant game true to the franchise's roots... they didn't "copy and paste".

If MS did acquire EPIC (which I highly doubt will happen), as long as MS treats them like 343 and hands them a blank check and says "Make the best damn Gears (or whatever) game possible", then it would be a good merger for fans.

SilentNegotiator1393d ago

Look at Rare's first project on the 360, Kameo.

They were CLEARLY still a brilliant studio at the start of the generation. Then they were forced to shoehorn XBL into their games. Then Kinect. All downhill from there.

xtremeimport1392d ago

MS as shown they can build a top tier studio.
343 has made 1 game, and some of the people are from Bungie.

and they make Halo, which had a pretty solid formula of building off. Try a new IP, then you can say they build top tier studies...also more than 1 example.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 1392d ago
fermcr1393d ago

"God I hope not. They killed Rare, they will kill Epic too."

No. Rare was already dead when Microsoft purchased them. BTW how many studios have Sony and Nintendo killed ? Zipper Interactive (Sony) comes to mind in recent months.

vega2751393d ago (Edited 1393d ago )

try zipper,London, Liverpool,Evolution Studios,Bigbig Studios,LightBox Interactive,Eat Sleep Play,and Game Republic.

torchic1392d ago

let's not lie now. Lightbox Interactive, Eat Sleep Play and Evolution Studios, are all alive and kicking. Sony gave Lightbox Interactive the green light to make a Warhawk sequel knowing very well it wouldn't sell much, but would add variety to the PS3.

Game Republic was never owned by Sony, they could have chose to reject Sony money and not make exclusive Sony titles.

the only studio that didn't deserve the cut was Studio Liverpool. that was a huge mistake by Sony. everyone else deserved the boot.

neoMAXMLC1392d ago

Evolution? Lightbox? Eat Sleep Play?

You might want to do some actual research, vega. Eat Sleep Play isn't even a first party studio. Neither is Lightbox.

BitbyDeath1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

@torchic, Liverpool got merged with Evolution Studios.

Zipper was the only real loss, not that i'm into shooters but MAG was pretty decent.

And Evolution Studios are still alive and well. Hopefully we'll see a new Motorstorm from them as a PS4 launch title.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1392d ago
AngelicIceDiamond1392d ago

With what making Kinect games? Last I heard a Kinect for Gears Of War was scrapped and was never gonna work.

If MS bought Epic they would put them hard at work. By creating new Ips for them, and expanding current franchises like Gears, BulletStorm, Unreal, and Shadow Complex 2. Think about it, MS could have a new Ip every year if they wanted, if they bought epic.

xtremeimport1392d ago

@lelo2play

who is this "among others" you've listed?
and yeah..Zipper tried some new things and it just didn't work. When you have other studios producing top quality games, why keep one that's a Ps2 success around?

they could've handled it a bit better from some of the reports I've read, but when it comes down to it, its a business about making money. Zipper wasn't making it happen.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1392d ago
blue_flowers1393d ago (Edited 1393d ago )

it would be an industry shaking move, would that affect who could and couldn't have licensing of the unreal engine? i think it would be a strong decision for xbox and microsoft but may hurt gaming as a whole and i don't think epic would end up as rare. microsoft sort of kept rare alive but didn't use them well which ultimately ended the company, epic on the other hand has software, games, and established ip's that sell well acrooss all platforms, it'd be hard to take down a company like that, also microsoft had a great relationship with bungie which didn't end in its demise so i think epc and microsoft would do fine together.

Boysangur1393d ago

Oh I don't know, man. Rare had quite a few massive games and established IP's. I think most forget just how revered and important the company once was. Plus, so many major figures leaving the company all of the sudden like a sinking ship? Something is up.