Epic Games’ Tim Johnson on what the Unreal Engine maker and its worldwide studios can offer you
Name: Tim Johnson
Title: Director of Recruiting
Developer: Epic Games
What differentiates Epic Games from other developers?
When you come to Epic, you not only influence our next big games, but you also contribute to world-class technology that is used by developers throughout the industry.
We recently released the Unreal Engine 4 tools and C++ source code on accessible terms, so it is an incredibly exciting time for our team as well as the community.
While the Unreal Engine is still used for big-budget games, it’s now accessible to anyone who wants to check it out. The rapid pace at which the technology is evolving and the rate at which developers are sharing awesome new projects is astonishing.
How many staff are you currently looking to take on?
We are currently looking to fill more than 50 unique positions, with many requiring multiple people. We plan to add about 100 people to our teams this year. Our studio locations include Cary, North Carolina (Epic’s headquarters); Seattle, Washington; Salt Lake City, Utah; Warsaw, Poland; Seoul, Korea; and Yokohama, Japan.
In the UK, specifically, our lead engine programmer James Golding now works on-site at Pitbull Studio, a UE4-exclusive shop with offices in Sunderland, Leamington Spa and Guildford. Our primary point of contact for developers in Europe, territory manager Mike Gamble, has always been based in the UK. We have an open headcount which we are looking to fill locally, and encourage anyone interested to check out our opportunities at www.epicgames.com/careers.
What perks are available to staff working at your studio?
The biggest benefit to being a part of Epic is the opportunity to work with a talented and passionate team on interesting challenges. We are never satisfied with the status quo, and are always looking to improve upon our achievements. This applies to taking on new genres and types of games – our work on Fortnite being one example – to jumping into a welcoming subscription service with Unreal Engine 4.
What should aspiring devs do with their CV to get to an interview?
Build something Unreal. But seriously, give us a preview of your potential by making something cool. We have a long history of hiring from the community all the way back to the early Unreal Tournament mod days. In fact, quite a few of our original Unreal Tournament level builders are still here at Epic. If you impress us with your abilities to create amazing content, we will want to talk to you.
Who is the best interviewee you have ever had and how did they impress you?
Two words: Mind control.
And who was the worst?
There once was a guy who snacked on raw bologna, which was diced into little chunks and jostled about freely in his pockets. Talk about an awkward handshake.
What advice would you give for a successful interview at Epic?
Prepare yourself well before showing up for an interview, and be ready to talk with anyone. Don’t be nervous, as the company has invited you to the studio because they think, and probably hope, you will be a good fit for the position. Just be yourself and answer questions honestly.
If Epic has recruited internationally, what is the process like?
We have recruited talent internationally. The best advice from Epic’s perspective is to be prepared to make an international move and to understand there are potential immigration hurdles to jump through. Do your best to provide as much information as necessary to help with the immigration process.
How have your recruitment needs changed at your studio?
In making the move from traditional console model to service-based games and technology, our needs have changed quite a bit. We continue to recruit world-class engine developers, but now are also looking for online engineers, systems designers, web engineers and so on. As a result, a much broader spectrum of positions are now opening.
Why should developers join a studio like Epic when indie and self-publishing have become so much more accessible?
We remain an independent studio with independent roots. Fortunately, Epic is agile and innovative, with the financial stability that equips our team to take smart risks.
We are making games for the player and technology for the developer, supported by the philosophy that if we give value, then we will get value back. As such, we are happily committed to providing our community with the content, tools and experiences they desire.
To read our other Recruiter Hot Seat articles about studios looking to hire, visit our archive.
For more information on the movers and shakers in the global game industry and available job vacancies, you can sign up to our new #DevelopJobs newsletter that is delivered straight to your email every Friday. Click here to subscribe.