Epic Games, today synonymous with some of the world’s most popular games, was started by founder Tim Sweeney on his parent’s computer in 1991. Sweeney created his first game, ZZT, in the same year, and needed an organisation through which to sell it.
And sell it he did. Using online bulletin boards, Sweeney sold several thousands of copies, shipping them out himself. On the back of this success, the founder moved into the company’s first studio and changed its name from Potomac Computer Systems to the one we know today: Epic Games.
The American video game and software developer is now one of the largest gaming studios in the world, publishing internationally successful titles such as Fortnite, Gears of War, and Infinity Blade. In 2014, Epic Games’ Unreal Engine was named the “most successful videogame engine” by Guinness World Records.
The Epic Games Store, the company’s digital video game storefront for Microsoft Windows and macOS, now boasts over 180 million users, with gamers spending more than USD 700m per year within it. Registered users of the company’s flagship title, Fortnite, total over 350 million worldwide.
The company’s journey from a relatively unknown studio to one of the world’s most famous developers has seen it generate incredible returns. As of 2022, Epic Games had an equity valuation of USD 32bn, with annual revenues of around USD 6bn.