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Epic Games, Inc, also known as Epic and formerly Epic MegaGames, is an American video game development company based in Cary, North Carolina. Its most recent success has been the Gears of War series of games, although it is also known for its Unreal Engine technology. It is the parent company of game developers Chair Entertainment, People Can Fly and Titan Studios. It has also set up studios in Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo. Key developers at Epic Games include chairman, CEO and technical director Tim Sweeney, design director Cliff Bleszinski, and lead programmer Steve Polge. Jerry O'Flaherty was the studio art director from 2003-2007. Chris Perna has been the art director since O'Flaherty's departure from the company.
Epic Games was initially founded under the name of 'Potomac Computer Systems' in 1991 by Tim Sweeney in Rockville, Maryland, releasing its flagship product, ZZT, the same year. During the latter portion of ZZT's life span, the company became known as Epic MegaGames and subsequently released numerous popular shareware games, including Epic Pinball, Brix, Jill of the Jungle, Kiloblaster, Jazz Jackrabbit, and One Must Fall: 2097. During this time, Epic also published and sold games developed by other developers such as those by Safari Software and also XLand's Robbo, Heartlight, and Electro Man; and Renaissance's Zone 66. In 1997 Safari Software was acquired in whole by Epic and some of their titles as well as other pre-1998 games are sold under the Epic Classics brand. Epic also released a hit platformer game in 1993 titled Xargon, created by Allen Pilgrim.
Epic Games developed a shareware game called "Fire Fight". It was later released commercially by Electronic Arts.
In 1998, Epic MegaGames released Unreal, a 3D first-person shooter, which expanded into a series of Unreal games. The company also began to license the core technology, the Unreal Engine, to other game developers. In 1999, the company changed its name to Epic Games and moved its offices, including its Rockville headquarters, to Cary, North Carolina. In 2006, Epic released the Xbox 360 and PC bestseller Gears of War and completed work on Unreal Tournament 3 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. They acquired a majority shareholding in Polish developer People Can Fly