Epic Games, former developer of Gears of War and current developer of Paragon and Fortnite, may be headed in a very different direction from now on. While Epic built its more recent reputation on costly, campaign-driven games such as Gears of War, CEO Tim Sweeney doesn’t consider that a viable option going into the future. “The economics of those games forces developers to work with major publishers to succeed,” he says, “and that seems to be irreversible.” Instead, Sweeney would focus on more games like Paragon: free-to-play, malleable, influenced by the community, and conforming to players’ needs.
“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.” According to Sweeney, it’s up to Epic to drive that momentum forward. It seems like a pretty big risk to me, and I rather hope Epic is working on something more compelling than Paragon because, as of now, it’s not very fun. And don’t worry, Gears isn’t going anywhere. The franchise is published by Microsoft and has changed hands anyway. Gears of War 4 is being developed primarily by The Coalition, and we’ll get to experience its big-budget campaign on October 11.