An uncertain future for Epic Games

We break down the layoffs at Epic Games. Plus: Epic Games store incentive programs, and a new horror game that ends if you scream.

Nick Pfisterer β€’
An uncertain future for Epic Games

Welcome to the second issue of our monthly digest. It has been about a month since we launched, and the response has been good. The newsletter recently passed 1,000 subscribers and is still growing daily. I have a few articles baking in the oven, including one about the Epic Games Store's new incentive programs, which will be out very soon.

In the mean time, get cozy, sip your hot drink of choice, and catch up on the latest happenings in the world of Unreal. Enjoy. β˜•

πŸ“° In this month's issue:

This month in Unreal

Layoffs at Epic

Just after we launched Unreal Source at the end of September, Epic Games announced they were laying off about 16% of their staff – at least 830 employees – in order to recover from an extended period of spending way more money than they earned. Thankfully, Tim Sweeney addressed this at Unreal Fest. It was quite the elephant in the room.

It seems many teams were affected by the layoffs. So far, I have been able to confirm the following teams were affected:

Several of the affected employees are people I know. Some are people I have had the pleasure of collaborating with over the years. Many are people I have yet to meet, but have admired from afar. All of them are talented individuals who find themselves on the job market again. I am saddened by this turn of events, but I find solace in the knowledge that these people will do great work wherever their journey takes them.

At first, I was surprised to hear that Epic has been overspending to such an extent that would necessitate layoffs. Fortnite alone generates billions of dollars in revenue every year. Then there's Unreal Engine, Unreal Marketplace, and Epic Games Store. However, Epic has also been spending billions of dollars along the way. In the past 5 years, Epic has:

With all of that in mind – not to mention the fact that Epic does not collect any fees or royalties for linear content unless you opt for enterprise licensing – it's not outlandish to imagine Epic spending more than they're making.

Speaking frankly: these events have shaken my confidence in Epic Games and Unreal Engine a bit. Not enough to change anything I am doing right now, but enough to make me worry a little more about the future. Will Epic be able to recover from this and find solid ground again? I sincerely hope so, and I am still rooting for them.

In other news:

Community highlights

Until next time

That's all for October. I'm a little sad that my favorite time of year has come to an end. If you celebrated Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, or Samhain, you probably know what I mean.

I hope you enjoyed this issue. I've got a few new articles on the way in November, so stay tuned for that. If you can't wait until the next newsletter, I will be sharing breaking news, updates, and community finds over in our Notes feed.

Keep in touch, and send us anything you think is worth sharing. Until next time.

Thank you,
Nick aka pfist