Epic Games became a much more exciting studio the day they palmed their Gears albatross off on People Can Fly and began work on Fortnite, a clearly Minecraft-inspired co-operative hatch-battoner that didn’t feel the need to sell the new Unreal engine with used coffee filter visual FX.
In the process, however, the Warsaw-based subsidiary did start to look an awful lot more like, well, a subsidiary - rather than the fairly-independent ideas hub that produced Painkiller and Bulletstorm. Two new bits of information seem to reinforce that sense: a new role, working alongside Epic HQ on Fortnite. And a new name, in Epic Games Poland.
“We’ve changed the studio’s name from People Can Fly to Epic Games Poland,” a rep told Pixel Enemy. “We’re a global company with talented people working toward one goal across the world. We think this helps better reflect that.”
Flush from getting away with channelling Bono, the rep added that “Multiple Epic studios, including Epic Games Poland, are working on Fortnite”.
Those studios include Epic’s North Carolina base of operations, so it’s not as if Fortnite has been dumped in People Can Epic Games Poland’s driveway a la Gears. This here’s a collaborative, multi-studio effort - of the kind major publishers like Ubisoft, Rockstar and 2K are now commonly engaging in. Big game development got really big, y’all.
Epic have had a majority share in People Can Fly since 2007, but acquired the studio outright in August last year. Key figures Adrian Chmielarz, Andrzej Poznanski, and Michal Kosieradzki departed shortly afterwards to start new indie outfit The Astronauts.
That Fortnite PAX video did look like a lot of fun. But be honest: had you forgotten all about it?