Skip to main content

Exclusive: Epic’s Mike Capps discusses Tencent and future outside investment in the house of the Unreal Engine

Image used with permission by copyright holder

On Tuesday though, Epic announced that is now at least partially owned by Chinese Internet service portal Tencent. Though Tencent only has a minority stake in Epic, the change in the company’s ownership structure has far reaching implications about Epic’s future in the international video game market and its future as an independent company

Epic president Mike Capps spoke with Digital Trends about Tencent’s investment in his company. “Epic has worked with Tencent for years through our Unreal Engine licensing relationship,” says Capps, “They have fantastic inroads into attractive markets and platforms, and Epic has been carefully weighing its options for the next generation of games for quite some time. We can learn a lot from Tencent, and strategically aligning with them was an easy decision.”

Even if it is taking on outside investment, Epic is still committed to its independence. “Epic has always been in control of our business, and we very much enjoy our independence,” says Capps, “This is the first outside investment we’ve accepted in 21 years, and we’re looking forward to moving forward on all of our plans with Tencent’s support. Call us back in 2033 and ask us if our stance has changed.”

For fans of Epic’s games, from Infinity Blade on the iPhone and iPad on up to big budget shooters like E3 2012 darling Gears of War: Judgment, Tencent’s stake in the company might be worrisome. Will outside companies suddenly have access to Epic’s intellectual property? Capps says this too won’t change. “Epic maintains control of all of its IP as well as the Unreal Engine licensing business. Of course, we’ve accepted Tencent’s investment because we believe in them as a long-term partner, and we look forward to collaborating with their team in many areas of our business.”

Tencent operates a number of web services in China, including the monstrously popular QQ Instant Messenger service. QQIM commands a base of nearly 712 million active users.

There is no independent video game studio more famous or significant to the modern video game industry than Epic Games. When it was more common for studios to exist outside the corporate structure of a publisher, studios like id ruled the industry, but even that titans of middleware like the Quake engine is now part of Bethesda ZeniMax. That Epic remained independent, even as its Unreal Engine 3 became a standard framework for blockbuster and mobile games alike, is astounding. The demands of future technology and the changing industry though are obviously great enough that Epic requires partnerships like the one newly forged with Tencent.

What changes will be born out of this new relationship and any future relationships Epic forges as it seeks outside investment will become clear as the transition to machines running Unreal Engine 4 become more commonplace.

Editors' Recommendations

Anthony John Agnello
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Anthony John Agnello is a writer living in New York. He works as the Community Manager of Joystiq.com and his writing has…
Cities: Skylines 2 devs offer DLC refunds as console ports get delayed
A screenshot from Cities: Skylines 2's Beach Properties DLC.

Cities: Skylines 2 developer Colossal Order confirmed that it will be offering refunds to people who purchased the Beach Properties DLC, adding more content to the Ultimate Edition version of the game, delaying the launch of Cities: Skylines 2's console ports and its first expansion, and focusing on free updates and patches in the short term.

It did so while making a massive apology in the wake of the PC city-builder's messy launch and first DLC release. When Cities: Skylines 2 initially released last October, it was very unpolished and felt a bit inferior to the original Cities: Skylines. At the time, I wrote, "It’s OK to wait until the game is a little more stable and has as vibrant a community as its predecessor." Although Colossal Order has been patching the game, it reignited ire against the city-builder in March by releasing a $10 Beach Properties DLC, an underwhelming asset pack that didn't even add beaches to the game.

Read more
How to start the Rising Tide DLC in Final Fantasy 16
Rising Tide DLC

Final Fantasy 16's base adventure is already a long and winding tale full of intrigue, but that doesn't mean there isn't more story to be told in its world. Like the Echoes of the Fallen DLC before it, The Rising Tide DLC serves as an additional journey for Clive and company to undertake, providing players the opportunity to discover various all-new enemies, locations, and characters. This fresh content even includes Leviathan as a new Eikon for Clive to encounter, making it a must-play for completionists hoping to experience everything in the game. If you're wondering how to start The Rising Tide DLC, look no further — we'll tell you how to do so below.
How to start The Rising Tide DLC in Final Fantasy 16
To access The Rising Tide DLC in Final Fantasy 16, you'll first need to be sure you've purchased and downloaded the content. You can buy The Rising Tide as a standalone DLC for $15 or as part of the Expansion Pass, which also includes the Echoes of the Fallen DLC, for $25.

Once you've purchased and downloaded the DLC, however, there's more you'll need to do before you can start tackling the new content in The Rising Tide. For starters, you'll need to have unlocked Origin as a destination on the world map, which requires you to be at the end of the main campaign. You'll also have to complete the two sidequests, "Where There's a Will" and "Priceless," for Joshua and Jill, respectively. After clearing those quests, you can finally head to Clive's quarters at the Hideaway and check the missives table. There, you'll find an unmarked letter that lets you begin a new quest called “The Rising Tide."

Read more
What’s free on the Epic Games Store right now?
Characters in front of a mall in The Big Con.

Checking in on the Epic Games Store is one of the easiest ways to grow your gaming library. Epic gives out a free game or two every week, ranging from darling indies to AAA titles. All you have to do is jump on the Epic Games Store to claim the free games and they'll be added to your library to keep forever.

Keeping track of all the free titles and gaming deals can be a pain, so we're monitoring the Epic Games Store for you. We'll update this article every time a new game is made available!
What's free on the Epic Games Store right now?
These games can be picked up on the Epic Games store right now for free. Scroll down to the Free Games section of the app's Discover tab or find the individual title using the search bar. Just find and select the Get button to claim your free game. You do not have to download or install it right away.

Read more