According to news posts on dbtechno.com and WRAL the latest issue of GamePro states that Microsoft is closing in on a deal to acquire developer Epic Games. The report states that Epic, known primarily as the developer behind Unreal Engine 3
, would cost Microsoft upwards of $1 billion dollars. If true the acquisition would mean Microsoft would own Unreal Engine 3, the engine that powers most
current generation titles on the Xbox 360, PC and rival PS3 which would see Microsoft profiting from any title that makes use of the technology.
We don't want to call out shenanigans immediately but this is hard to believe for a few reasons. One billion dollars to purchase Epic Games, who also own the rights to the Gears of War
universe (Microsoft owns the current characters and title) and the Unreal
franchise, seems like a bargain considering the value of the Unreal Engine licenses alone. This move would also put Microsoft at the forefront of current legal problems
Epic is having with Silicon Knights, who has a publishing partnership with Microsoft. Also, Epic management don't seem like the kind of folks to let this thing slide considering how well they do financially on their own. We might be wrong on this one, but until we see the GamePro issue in question, talk to Epic's Mark Rein or hear about it from Xbox boss Don Mattrick we're not willing to call this one based on the fact that Epic has a booth next to Microsoft at GDC '08. But hey, crazier things
have happened right and it really could happen couldn't it?
[Thanks, Deus Legend]