EPIC Games becomes sole owner of People Can Fly
On the heels of several studio and personnel changes, one could simply describe the past few weeks for the gaming industry as shifting sands. We first learned that several members working on BioShock Infinite jumped off board, then came the announcement from Rod Fergguson, aka GearsViking, that he was leaving EPIC Games to join Ken Levine and the Irrational team; now an official report was released today stating that Bulletstorm and Gears of War: Judgment developer People Can Fly have been fully acquired by EPIC Games. Yeah, don’t forget to breath.
People Can Fly isn’t a stranger to EPIC. In fact, they’ve been in close relationship with the popular company, having first put out Gears of War for the PC. Then, as we alluded to earlier, came the excellent, tasteful first-person shooter, Bulletstorm, which EPIC Games promoted during their “down time” between the second and third Gears installment. With their full development team working on the upcoming prequel, Gears of War: Judgment, it only makes sense to offer a full partnership with People Can Fly. As EPIC’s Mark Rein stated, transition from majority owner to full-ownership was "something we always hoped to do."
The acquisition didn’t come without some controversy, though, as several of People Can Fly’s core members have moved on to peruse smaller studio endeavors. Along with founder Adrian Chmielarz, Andrzej Poznanski and Michal Kosieradzki have officially moved on as a result of the partnership, though many expected their departures. Epic president Mike Capps told popular website, Polygon, "Over the past decade, they have been instrumental in building People Can Fly into the talented team that it is today. We wish them well in their future endeavors. People Can Fly remains excited to release Gears of War: Judgment to fans early next year."
The full ownership announcement could directly come as a response to criticism targeted at EPIC’s short-sided lineup that includes only Judgment and Fortnite. People Can Fly is a studio filled with brilliant minds that aren’t afraid to try something different; something EPIC has also been known for in the past.