Unreal Tournament and Gears of War creator Epic Games is taking a controversial route that many fans might not agree with. CEO Tim Sweeney has confirmed with Polygon that it will be following a new business model that shifts away from single player campaigns and focuses solely on free-to-play multiplayer games.
Sweeney’s reasoning is that huge, AAA campaigns force smaller development studios into relationships with big publishers if they want to succeed. Self-published titles, like Epic Games’ Paragon, Fornite, and Unreal Tournament, are easier for these smaller teams to develop and sustain for a longer period of time.
We realized that the business really needed to change its approach quite significantly. We were seeing some of the best games in the industry being built and operated as live games over time rather than big retail releases … so we began the transition of being a fairly narrow console developer focused on Xbox to being a multi-platform game developer and self publisher, and indie on a larger scale.
Polygon‘s sources also say that Epic Games’ future titles will be “dynamic” in that they will never be release completed and will be further updated until deemed unnecessary. It’s unknown how this shift will fare since we haven’t seen an original game released from this model yet, nor will we until Fornite and Paragon get released later in 2016. Hold off gut-reactions and brimstone judgement until then, please.
And in case you don’t know, Epic Games sold Gears of War to Microsoft, meaning it will not be part of this shift in focus.