- 1 History
- 2 Games
- 3 Ethical Problems and Solutions
- 4 References
Epic Games was originally founded as Potomac Computer Systems in 1991 and was based in Tim Sweeney's parent's garage. The company soon changes its name to Epic MegaGames in 1992 and went on to release a few of its early games such as ZZT and Jazz JackRabbit . In 1999, the company relocated its headquarters to Cary, North Carolina, and renamed itself once again to the famed "Epic Games". In 2006, Epic Games developed the first of the Gears of War trilogy series, the company's first Xbox game, with additional publishing on Windows. In 2011, Epic Games announced the development of Fortnite, one of Epic Games' most popular video games. The release of Fortnite sparked a chain reaction of events that resulted in much of Epic Games' success. Although Fortnite started as pay-to-play, the company eventually decided to change the game to free-to-play in 2014. This change led to Epic Games releasing the unreal engine to consumers for free, allowing any registered user to play any free-to-play game owned by Epic on one convenient platform. With Epic Games growing exponentially in the early 2010s, Tencent bought a 40% minority stake in Epic Games and is currently the second highest shareholder of Epic Games after Tim Sweeney.
With Epic Games hosting all of its games, as well as their partners' games, on its patented Unreal Engine, they continue to see increases in usage. In 2021 alone, Epic Games saw an increase of 34 million accounts, totaling their total accounts in use to 194 million.  With many accounts being added, in addition to their existing accounts also contributing, Epic Games reported 840 million dollars in consumer spending, solely for 2021.  Due to their recent success, Epic Games announced in June of 2019 that they will give out one free game a week to Epic Games account holders, and will continue to do so through 2022. 
Fortnite is a third-person shooter game. Users can choose from an array of game-modes, with the most popular of the modes being Battle Royale. The objective of Battle Royale is to be the last person/team alive. The match initially starts with 100 players, with the number decreasing as players eliminate other players. Additionally, there is a "storm" that closes in on the players, forcing them to converge in a smaller location. Fortnite is currently on its 19th season (as of January 28th, 2022). The game was announced in 2011 and was released as free-to-play in 2014. 
Rocket League is a soccer video-game where the players are cars instead of people. Rocket League offers many different game modes, from 2v2 basketball mode (referred to as "hoops") to regular 3v3 competitive car-soccer. The regular 3v3 competitive car-soccer mode features an orange team vs a blue team. The goal of the game is to score more goals than the other team, while trying to stop your opponent from scoring in your team's goal in a five minute period. If the game is tied after the five minute period, the game will go into overtime and the winner will be decided by the team to score first in overtime. The winner will determined by the most amount of shots on goal after a 10 minute period if still tied in tournament mode (not to be confused with RLCS).
Tournament History - Rocket League
In 2016, Rocket League hosted the first ever Rocket League Championship Series, better known as RLCS. The event was hosted as a 3v3 double elimination tournament, with the tournament consisting of a total of eight teams. The total prize pool for this particular event was $55,000 USD with 7th and 8th place receiving $1,100, 5th and 6th place receiving $2,750, 4th place receiving $4,950, 3rd place receiving $4,950, 2nd place receiving $11,000 and 1st place receiving the grand prize of $27,500. iBUYPOWER won the first ever RLCS, with 0ver Zer0 winning the first ever RLCS MVP.  In 2017, Rocket League announced the creation the RLRS, or Rocket League Rival Series, a less-stakes, but still as exciting version of RLCS.  There has been a total of 10 RLCS seasons since its inception, with the ninth and tenth seasons being cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The most recent played RLCS was Season 8, which consisted of twelve total teams, with six teams being placed in each group stage for a total of two group stages. Each group stage would have its own tournament to see who would qualify for the playoff, which had only accepted 6 total teams. The tournament prizes gave $12,000 to 9th-12th place, $16,000 for 7th and 8th place, $24,750 for 5th and 6th place, $40,000 for 3rd and 4th place, $120,000 for 2nd place, and the grand prize of $200,000 to the 1st place team. The winner was NRG Esports, with Turbopolsa winning MVP, which gave $5,000 to the winning recipient. 
Ethical Problems and Solutions
Epic Games Store
The Epic Games Store was released on December 6th, 2018 and is used by Epic Games to host their own and parters' games. It allows anyone with an Epic Games account to buy and download pay-to-play games or download free-to-play games. The platform is intended to be developer/partner-friendly as the developer/partner receives 88% of all spending by the consumer, with Epic Games only receiving 12% of all consumer spending. Conventionally, developers only receive 70%, with the host receiving 30%. 
As Epic Games continues to add many popular names to its store, through its own developers and partners, many players argue that the flood of exclusive games to the store is harmful to the creative development of video-games. With a powerhouse company hosting most games, developers lack the competition to make a video game that consumers truly "value above the rest". Players argue this lack of competition will eventually lead to video games getting less and less creative, and having less general quality. 
Epic Games Store Future
Epic Games announced in August of 2021 that they had released a beta version of a self-publishing Epic Games Store which would be available for users to upload their own games for others to play.  Currently, the store is only open to registered applicants who have been approved by Epic Games. This decision was made with the intention of mirroring how the company, Steam, allowed their users to publish their own games on the Steam Store.  Epic Games hopes that the transition to a self-publishing Epic Games Store will alleviate the pressure put on them to make their company so that non-private developers can also still add their own games to reputable online game stores with the potential of game becoming very popular. 
Epic Games v. Apple
In August of 2020, Epic Games released a feature on Fortnite's mobile edition that allowed players to purchase V-Bucks, the in-game currency of Fortnite, directly through Epic Games instead of the App Store. The benefit to the players was that they were getting V-bucks at a discounted rate, while Epic Games could profit from V-Bucks sales without having to pay Apple a 30% fee for using Apple as mediator. Hours after this move, Apple decided to pull the famed game from the App Store as the company claimed Epic Games violated its App Store agreement. Epic Games launched a lawsuit against Apple immediately after. The law suit, however, was not against Apple's move to take down Epic Games' Fortnite but instead against Apple's App Store Policy, specifically citing its 30% fee. Tim Sweeney, Epic Games' CEO, stated that the fight was not against wanting a special deal, but instead being granted the basic rights and freedoms as developers. 
In September of 2021, Tim Cook, Apple CEO, announced in an official statement that Epic Games had paid Apple six million dollars for violating the App Store Agreements. Epic Games was also forced to pay 30% of the revenue the company had gained during the period of time in which the company was violating the App Store Agreement.  As a result of the ruling, Epic Games began looking into alternative ways to get their games to their customers.
Epic Games and Google
Google's Play Store policy has the same thirty percent commission fee as Apple's App Store. Due to this, Epic Games attempted to circumvent this fee by allowing its customers to pay them directly for V-Bucks, the company's form of in-game currency. Epic Games had done this both on the App Store and the Play Store. As a result, both Apple and Google removed Fortnite from its app stores. Epic Games announced that Google was being sued by the company in addition to Apple. Although both lawsuits were filed after both Apple and Google removed Epic Games' Fortnite from their respective app stores, both lawsuits were unrelated to that specific action by the company's. In respect to Google, Epic Games' complaint was that Google used monopolistic practices which is unfair to the companies that Google works with.  Although Epic Games lost the case against Apple and was forced to pay 6 million USD, along with 30% of the revenue that was generated from the period of time the company was breaking the App Store's policy, Epic Games' lawsuit against Google remains active with Epic Games having a lot more evidence and artifacts supporting their case than they did for Google.  Google also launched a counter-claim against Epic Games, stating that Epic Games had violated the same laws it had in place as the company did for Apple. 
Epic Games has two note-worthy owners with Tim Sweeney owning around 50% of Epic Games and Tencent owning around 40%.
Tencent is an internet and technology corperation based in China. It has part ownerships in many popular software companies, such as Riot Games and Epic Games. Tencent bought a 40% minority stake of Epic Games in 2012 and continues to own that percentage of the company. Tencent was founded with the mission of using technology for good in order to improve quality of life. Despite this, Tencent has been under scrutiny for operating under values not consistent to their mission statement. Tencent has public stated their effort to improve work-life balance as well as setting aside double the amount of money they are currently donating to social responsibility programs. 
Epic Games' Responses
On November 1st 2021, Epic Games decided to shut down its work to bring Fortnite to the Chinese market. This decision comes from China's growing pressure to improve the standards of living for youths in China. More specifically, the Chinese government and big tech giants are under increased pressure to develop ways for youths in China to spend less time gaming. Tencent, a Chinese-based technology company and a 40% minority stakeholder of Epic Games, had a major influence on this decision as Tencent's mission statement is to use technology for good. Although Epic Games had developed a Chinese Version for Fortnite, the company still decided to abandon all efforts, in hopes of improving society for youths in China. 
Epic Games officially partnered with Ooblets on August 6th, 2019, a game where you build up your personal farm among other tasks. In response to Ooblets agreement to exclusively partner with Epic Games, the studio received thousands of violent and racist threats. Epic Games put out an official statement condemning any harmful messages sent to the Ooblets Studio.