2019 was an exceptional year for Epic Games: the successful stratospheric Fortnite has brought into the coffers of the american company billions of dollars. Funds in addition to those guaranteed constantly from theUnreal Engine 4, the engine successfully adopted by dozens of productions of all types, from indie developed by a few people to huge titles triple A. There is a little bit of everything, from the exclusive Days Gone and Dreams up to the platform like Kingdom Hearts 3, passing from the hit mobile as Lineage 2 Revolution capable of cashing out, in its first twelve months of life, more than a billion dollars. The year just started will be in short, under the banner of the products and technologies, once again, with an ambitious goal: to give developers new tools to create products that are increasingly advanced, beautiful to look at and of course profitable.
Epic Online ServicesThe success of Fortniteè been an important test bench for the progessi that Epic has made in the field of online technologies: it is a product with more than 250 million players and nearly 11 million active users at the same time, be experienced on any platform at 60 images per second, with cross play, account, sync, chat, and shared goals on consoles as on PC and mobile. For the creation of an infrastructure of the kind, Epic has had to evolve its own tools for the online functionality of titles and the result are the Epic Online Services: of the tools available for free to all, compatible not only with the Unreal Engine and designed to make this type of progress in the field of online gambling a reality not only for those who have an enormous budget and large team. In the future, the idea is that any indie with of the online functionality can be achieved with minimal effort advanced functionality such as the sharing of inventory across multiple platforms, a matchmaking of great quality, and analysis tools to the public, of receipts and of the community that have nothing to envy to those used for products that are huge such as Fortnite, in fact.
Epic Store, the subject of disputeThe amount of active users on Fortnite is basically a weapon, are also very important at the commercial level for Epic. 85 million PC users of the game are already attending classes atthe Epic Store and these numbers allowed us to establish strategic partnerships with big publishers like Ubisoft, which have begun to incorporate their titles on Epic Store, see The Division 2, and will continue to work in this direction in the future. Resounding the case of Metro Exodus, the subject of dispute of a few weeks ago that, according to what was declared by Epic, has sold two and a half times the copies on his store compared to Metro: Last Light he had made on Steam in the same amount of time. Also the policy of the free games given away every two weeks works great: both Subnauticache Slime Rancher have surpassed the 4.5 million download, numbers, is not indifferent in the face of an undoubted economic investment with a certain return in terms of growth of the community and attractiveness of the shop. Products like the Dauntless, The Cycle, and Spellbreak will come in exclusive, but the same applies to the trilogy of Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Detroit: Become Human) that will land on PC for the first time in the virtual store of Epic. And then on the very interesting Control.
The Unreal Engine is the protagonistThe latest news about theUnreal Engine are always a bit special: in the end, not involving a single title, but an ecosystem, the effects of the improvements are often visible, but not related to the work of Epic. Anyway, here’s the one that boils in the pot. Version 4.22 of the engine, Epic promises to implement support full Ray Tracing and its spectacular lighting. During the keynote was shown a movie, Troll, produced by the Swedish Goodbay Kansas and Deep Forest Films is really impressive in this sense. All calculated in real-time on a single RTX 2080 You Nvidia. The (semi -) acquisition of children of 3 Lateral, the magi of the reproduction of faces in digital that in 2018 they put the signature on blockbusters such as Marvel’s Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2, Devil May Cry 5 and God of War promises to put in the hands of all of the tool absolutely fantastic and at the forefront to create the faces of enormous quality and detail. Epic is also putting its best minds (and some new acquisitions) on the Chaos, a tool still in the experimental phase that is about to revolutionize physics in the game, and we saw a demo during which a giant mech was intent to destroy the first column of concrete, then the facade of a building, then an entire building. The effect is incredible, even if the fluidity was not yet satisfactory, and we imagine that before seeing this level of detail, with explosion and debris calculated in real time, it will pass some time. There were other announcements, such as the arrival of Mutant Year Zero on Switch-on the 25th of June, or a renewed interest in augmented reality, developed through a collaboration with Magic Leap, but roughly the commitment of Epic, it seems to go in these three main directions: the Unreal Engine, the online services and the store. Of course, Tim Sweeney, and members will have fun hoping their goose now continue to not disappoint and riding as usual with the latest innovations of an increasingly dynamic market, just as the GDC 2019 has shown Google with the announcement of the Ruler.