Why is the gaming giant Epic Games, which has raised over $1 billion, optimistic about Metaverse?
It has been more than a week since Facebook changed its name to the meta-universe-related “Meta” name. This move has triggered many discussions in the meta-universe industry, and some technology giants have begun to get involved in the meta-universe field. Including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also said at the recent Microsoft Ignite conference that Microsoft will explore meta-universe technology.
If Facebook’s announcement of the start of the meta-universe track is only the beginning of this game, then its massive rebranding at the connect conference really detonated this field, although those companies that are now widely entering the game are more like a kind of ” “Focusing on hot spots”, but there are still some technology companies that are really deep in this field, but they are more worthy of our attention .
There is an emerging technology company that has attracted much attention overseas in the meta-universe track. As the only company in the global game industry, it has not only created a number of popular games, but also developed a top game engine, and created a game store with 160 million users. The existence of Epic Games is already the dominant player in the gaming industry, but in the past two years they have put their sights on the meta-universe and have become another type of “unicorn” in this sector.
What most people don’t even know is that it was the actions of Epic Games that triggered people’s attention to the metaverse, which opened a new track . Therefore, as an important participant in the field of meta-universe and games, how did Epic Games detonate the field of meta-universe, and how did it create a concert with more than tens of millions of users? This article will take a glimpse of the mystery and lead everyone to understand Epic. Games story.
What kind of company is Epic Games?
It has been 10 years since Epic Games was born. It was first founded by Tim Sweeney and Mark Rein in 1991. Tencent , which we are familiar with, acquired 48.4% of the issued share capital of EpicGames for US$330 million in July 2012 .
From the product line point of view, Epic Games released a 3D first-person shooter game in 1998. Now it has grown into a series, and thanks to a completely self-developed 3D game engine, Epic Games tried to develop a 3D game engine based on this engine. Other games, including the later popular “Fortress Night”.
In 2006, Epic Games announced the best-selling game “Gears of War” based on the Xbox 360 game platform, launched the Epic Games Store in 2018, the beta version of Epic Online Services in 2019, and acquired the social video app Houseparty, and 2020 Launched Epic Games Publishing in the year.
In terms of historical development, Epic Games has “three magic weapons” worthy of our attention, namely: “Fortnite”, Unreal Engine and Epic Games game store.
- Fort night
First of all, we need to define that “Fortress Night” is just a TPS (Third Person Shooting) game. The background of the game is set in the context of global warming and more and more serious environmental pollution, and there have been some invasions at night. Monsters in human territory, in order to defend their homeland, young people must learn techniques such as skydiving, building houses, using guns, and escaping from harsh environments in training camps.
This game has three modes, namely Guarding the Homeland (PvE), Airborne Action (PvP), and Hippy Island. Unlike traditional shooting games, in these modes, players can build houses through the collected materials (this point It is very different from the shooting games we are familiar with) in order to resist enemy attacks, and even create your own islands and maps. It is precisely because these innovative gameplays have also changed the player’s perception of shooting games, and even more so Hardcore players love it so much that it has set many records for shooting games.
Because Epic Games has not yet gone public, there are few public financial reports, but because of the lawsuit between Epic Games and Apple earlier this year, Epic Games released a financial statement to the court, showing some key data. According to this financial report, “Fortnite” generated up to $9 billion in revenue for Epic from 2018 to 2019 .
During the Travis Scott astronomy event last year, the famous European and American rapper Scott held a virtual concert in the game. At the same time, there were more than 12.3 million online players, setting a record.
In March 2019, Epic Games announced that the number of players in “Fortnite” was approximately 250 million; in May 2020, Epic announced that the number of registered players for “Fortnite” had exceeded 350 million . The user scale has maintained rapid growth for more than two years.
“Fortnite” once enjoyed a good reputation all over the world, and even shared the world with “PUBG Mobile”, but why did it say it used to be? Since the national service “Fortress Night” has never been able to obtain a version number, its operation team issued an announcement to stop the test on October 31, 2021. The test came to an end and the server was officially shut down on November 15. Many players are sighing and lamenting that the game has always stopped, but the player’s love for the game will never stop.
If any company has a magic weapon to stand up, then Epic Games has laid the foundation of “Fortress Night” since its shooting game in 1998, and has gradually grown into a game with hundreds of millions of users. Therefore, the “Fortress of the Night” was born in 2018. “Night” is the real star product that propped up this technology company, but it is not yet a “pillar.”
◉ Unreal Engine
As one of the three magic weapons of Epic Game, Unreal Engine may not be the most well-known one, but it is undoubtedly the most important one. Not only used by Epic Game’s masterpieces “Gears of War”, “Bullet Storm” and “Fortnite”, it is also loved by countless game production teams.
Unreal Engine was launched in 1998, and after several iterations, the latest version of Unreal Engine 5 was finally launched in May 2021. It is the world’s largest and most advanced open real-time 3D creation platform . Provide game developers with the required core technology, data generation tools and basic support. Scalable application framework, animation system, UnrealEd content creation tools, character, normal map and material map, virtual micro-polygon geometry, environment, lighting, etc. system integration.
Simply put, Unreal Engine provides a foundation for game developers to visualize game design, which can be used to build, test, and publish various types of games.
According to incomplete statistics, many games such as “Medal of Honor: Airborne Soldier”, “Mirror Edge”, “PUBG Mobile”, “End of War”, “Meteor Butterfly Sword OL” and many other games are based on Unreal Engine. Many game companies such as Electronic Arts, Sony, Ubisoft, and Jiuyou have a special liking for it.
At the same time, for independent game designers, downloading and using Unreal Engine to develop and publish games can also earn shares during the product life cycle after games or other interactive commercial off-the-shelf products or technologies start commercial operations. And it has obtained huge community resources of more than 2.2 billion users, covering more than 500 million devices.
The emergence of Unreal Engine satisfies the basic conditions necessary for the meta-universe, so that the real-time rendering details can be comparable to the movie CG and the real world, and through efficient tools and content libraries, ordinary people can achieve this goal , which can be said to open the meta-universe One of the important tools of the world gate.
- Epic Games Store platform
“Fortnite” is so cool and “Unreal Engine” is so important, so what is the Epic Games Store platform? Why can it be one of the three magic weapons juxtaposed with the first two?
The Epic Games Store platform is a game platform launched by Epic Games, referred to as EGS. It currently has more than 500 games and provides one-stop downloading functions for more than 300 million users. EGS is also the only game platform in the world that can compete with Steam .
Exclusive games on Epic Games Store (Note: Exclusive games refer to exclusive games only available on EGS) “Detroit: Become Human”, “The Sinking City”, and “Borderless Land” are sought after by many game enthusiasts . The high-rated free games that are pushed to users every week make it stand out among many game platforms and are well received.
So how good EGS is, let’s let the data do the talking. 2021 is not over yet, so we can only review its 2020 annual report. ESG’s 2020 annual report shows that in 2020, players spent US$700 million on EGS, of which third-party games accounted for US$265 million, with creators from 235 countries and regions .
As the global epidemic has caused people to spend more time at home, the above value will undoubtedly increase substantially in 2021, and with the further optimization of its interactivity, EGS has faintly gained the aspiration of the game platform TOP1.
Of course, EGS has also been criticized by players for its exclusive game behavior, lack of user evaluation system, no community, etc., but this still cannot conceal the brilliance of EGS. As a game platform with a huge community, EGS can well serve as an “oasis” role in the meta-universe, and may also allow some applications to sprout from here, and eventually become a new way of life in Web3.0.
Why is Epic so optimistic about Metaverse?
So why is Epic Games, one of the top game companies, so optimistic about Metaverse? We can get a glimpse from the interviews between Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, and Marc Petit, head of Unreal Engine.
- Meta universe can provide users with greater freedom
Tim Sweeney believes that the social media era led by Meta (formerly known as Facebook) delineates the masses and guides users to pre-selected goals, rather than allowing users to explore freely. He reluctantly said, “In the past ten years, we have all been used.”
This is a very sad thing, just like the scene described by Aldous Leonard Huxley at the beginning of the novel “Brave New World”, everything seems to be standardized, and people’s desires seem to be satisfied anytime, anywhere, and can be enjoyed at any time. However, such a utopia is simply a disaster. Personality, family and even emotions will gradually disappear under this kind of control.
And Tim Sweeney believes that Metaverse can change this status quo. Metaverse can provide users with a broader digital public space. Users are absolutely free. They can express themselves and explore interactions in this space, without the need for carefully edited information. Flow interference . Brands can collaborate with content creators with different experiences and put their products in the meta universe to get the attention they deserve, and this is what the Internet should be.
- Meta universe laid the foundation for the era of interactive content
Marc Petit believes that the arrival of the meta-universe is the general trend of the evolution of the Internet. With the development of technology, users have higher and higher demands for content ownership. Users expect to control content, interact with and immerse themselves in it, and the open meta-universe lays the foundation for the era of interactive content.
As the head of Unreal Engine, Marc Petit believes that Metaverse can build a fairer business model and rules . Everyone can be a consumer and a creator. While privacy is protected, everyone participates in the construction and sharing of the platform fairly and owns their own universe.
- Where is the future of the meta universe?
The management of Epic Games believes that the future meta-universe must be an open and compatible 3D content world. This is a real and always online world. It cannot be paused or restarted like a game. This poses a big challenge to the technical paradigm and further promotes the development of technology (here we may wish to recall the blockchain It’s difficult to look back once the code is executed).
In the meta-universe, information from any place can be seamlessly integrated. For example, if a user buys an item in real life, it may be used in the meta-universe. From this perspective, the meta-universe seems to reshape the whole The world has gradually become the future.
Through the above dismantling, it is not difficult to find that Epic Games’ founding team and management’s understanding of Metaverse is by no means superficial. It can even be described as “Bogutongjin”. This is why they chose to raise $1 billion this year. More energy is put in the meta universe, and the clues can be seen here.
Epic’s exploration of the meta universe
- Let “Fortress Night” explore the meta universe
I have to admire the courage of Epic Games and the courage to let one of the world’s most famous and profitable games “Fortress Night” bear the brunt of the meta universe when the meta universe is still in a huge uncertainty.
In fact, before Epic Games announced that they would enter the meta universe in April this year, they had already begun to explore the meta universe. An obvious manifestation is that there are already many meta-universe shadows in the fortress night.
Fortnite was originally a battle royale game of construction + shooting, but Epic Games has more expectations for it. At the end of 2018, the creative gameplay of Creative mode (creative mode) was launched in the seventh season of Fortnite. Players can build on their own private island at will, and they can also design games with friends . It releases the creativity of players as much as possible and gives players a platform for social communication.
Although the construction of it needs to be based on the items, functions and designs currently available in Fortnite , it is not possible to achieve richer materials in Roblox and Minecraft . However, Fortnite has a natural advantage in the screen and is still affected by players. Love, and gave birth to many very imaginative creations.
After the 12.50 version update in 2020, Fortnite officially launched “Party Royale” (Party Island). On this party island, there are no missions. Players can wander around the party island carefree, chat with friends in the virtual world, or participate in various mini games such as skydiving, fishing, competitions, etc. with everyone .
Compared to the creative mode, Party Royale is more about constructing a virtual public space, so that players can chat and interact with their friends even if they are thousands of miles away without worrying about the obstruction of the physical world.
To further enlarge the experience of the virtual public space is an attempt to hold a virtual concert on Fort Night . On April 24, 2020, “Fortnite” and the famous American rapper Travis Scott joined hands to stage a large-scale “immersive” concert called “Astronomical” on major servers around the world, attracting more than 1,300 Ten thousand players went to watch.
Such a feat can only be achieved online. It takes hundreds of games offline to achieve such an effect. Only one online is enough, which indirectly reflects the huge influence contained in the interaction of the future virtual world. .
These three modes break the original elements of gunfighting and competition in Fortnite, allowing players to lay down their weapons and feel the ease and joy of interacting and socializing with others in the virtual world. This is also the deep immersion of the meta universe. Sense of characteristics.
- Make Unreal Engine more universal and easy to use
The most commonly used third-party game engines are Unreal Engine and Unity Engine. In contrast, Unity Engine is simpler and easier to use than Unreal Engine, but the technical level is not as good as Unreal Engine, but this feature is more suitable For the development of mobile games, Unity is also the most mainstream game engine for mobile games and has the most extensive applications. The Unreal Engine is more professional and complex, and is generally used to develop high-quality games with very good visual effects.
But this impression is an inherent impression that Epic wants to break. Because in order to enter the meta-universe, more developers need to participate in the spontaneous construction of the meta-universe, just like Roblox does. The current Unreal Engine is very difficult to learn, and it is difficult to achieve the ultimate goal of Unreal Engine.
The ultimate goal of Unreal Engine is to make content creators more efficient and make it possible for a team of a few people with a small budget to create high-quality games across the ages. At present, technical barriers are only a limitation in the game industry, and the time and economic conditions that developers can invest in have always been limiting factors for game developers .
Therefore, if you want to achieve this goal and fit your own meta-universe strategy, you have to spend a lot of effort to make Unreal Engine easier to use and easy to use, so as to attract more beginners to use Unreal Engine, thus creating a steady stream of The virtual world attracts more users to participate, forming a positive upward spiral.
In addition, Epic Games is also working with external companies such as Manticore Games to achieve this goal . Manticore Games has released a game production platform “Core” built on Unreal Engine, which can be understood as the Unreal Engine version of Roblox, but Roblox’s modeling is rougher and is mainly suitable for teenagers and other young people.
But Core hopes to use the high performance and expressive power of Unreal Engine to provide easy-to-use tools for developers who want to create a more realistic virtual world with rich special effects. Core also draws on Roblox’s experience, and through sharing with developers 55, inspires more developers to create on the platform.
- Embrace blockchain and NFT
On October 16, 2021, game developer SpacePirate disclosed that Valve’s game and software platform Steam has introduced new regulations. Games that use blockchain technology or allow users to exchange NFT or Crypto will not be allowed to be published on Steam.
Epic Games, the emerging competitor of Steam, the largest game platform that occupies more than half of the game publishing, has made the opposite decision. The Epic Games Store will welcome games that use blockchain technology, provided they comply with relevant laws, disclose their terms, and have appropriate age ratings . Although Epic does not use encryption in games, they welcome innovations in technology and finance.
Epic Games provided more details to the well-known American technology media website “The Verge”. They emphasized that some restrictions will be set to regulate blockchain transaction activities. In addition, the platform will also work closely with developers to learn more about how they will use blockchain technology in games.
As early as January of this year, Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, said:
Blockchain technology and NFT are the “most reasonable way” to the completely emerging meta-universe (virtual world), but due to factors such as transaction costs and speculation that constitute cryptocurrencies today, the “persistent, real-time digital world” Dreams may still be out of reach. In the coming decades, the new era of virtual existence will usher in the next great milestone for people as a networked species.
This also means that Epic will attract more blockchain games to settle in, and blockchain games like Axie Infinity have been able to bring more revenue than one of the most profitable games in traditional games. , The “Play to Earn” mode brought by blockchain games is unlimited. Therefore, blockchain games will surely become another big boost for Epic to enter the meta-universe.
- Let the Epic Games Store break the walls
Epic Games has always seemed to give people the impression that they like to challenge authority. In fact, this is inseparable from the vision of its CEO Tim Sweeney. He has always believed that the economic ecosystem created by Silicon Valley giants such as Apple and Google is a kind of high-walled garden. Regress the Internet.
Tim’s vision is to build Meta Universe into an open platform, but this requires all brands to participate, rather than each brand building its own standards and building walls . Although some people criticize the Epic Games Store itself as a high-walled garden, Tim does not deny it, but it is already working hard to break the wall.
On the one hand, compared to the 30% fee for big platforms such as Apple and Google, Epic Games only drew 12%, as far as possible to de-intermediate, and make itself a more open platform, rather than a blood-sucking wall.
On the other hand, Epic Games successfully persuaded Nintendo, Xbox and Sony to open a multiplayer game base when players play “Fortnite” and connect with other platforms. Games such as “Rocket League” and “Call of Duty” series adopt cross-platform connection and data preservation standards, breaking the high walls between game manufacturers and interconnecting each other, which is the open meta-universe of the future .
Recall that in 1991, it was the landmark AIM alliance agreement reached by Apple, IBM and Motorola that successfully promoted the standardization of personal computer technology. Tim also hopes that the next iteration of the Internet will return to such a spirit of cooperation, which is also the most important foundation for the meta-universe that Tim thinks can be practiced.
Looking to the future: Where might Epic go?
Looking at Epic’s existing achievements, there are 7 million developers worldwide using Unreal Engine, one of the most popular and profitable games “Fortnite”, and the second largest gaming platform Epic Games Store, with a total of more than 350 million users are already one of the ceilings in the gaming industry, and it is also a giant in the social field.
Based on the current situation, we can see that Epic can build a meta-universal benchmark game based on “Fortnite”. From the current cooperation with celebrities and famous companies in reality, we believe that this goal It will happen soon.
What about going further? It is a way to optimize Unreal Engine and find a way to connect all games developed with Unreal Engine to form a unique “Epic meta-universe” .
If it can be more open and connected to other metauniverses, a metauniverse that all brands can join will be realized. At that time, whether Epic can decentralize its influence and eventually become that no large company can control this “Epic meta universe” at will, that will be one of the possible forms of the meta universe in the future.
Although this future is too far away from us, I don’t know if Epic can implement its own ideas and continue to go forward, but Epic is the most powerful company in the game field. I hope it can live up to expectations and create a track for the meta universe. Miracle.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/why-is-the-gaming-giant-epic-games-which-has-raised-over-1-billion-optimistic-about-metaverse/
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