Unreal Engine outfit building new dev operation with Big Huge Games talent
Epic Games is to establish a new studio in Baltimore formed predominantly from staff of recently closed Big Huge Games.
Big Huge Games shut its doors in May when its parent company 38 Studios suffered a high profile collapse.
Epic has stepped in to pick up many of the studio's staff, as revealed in an official blog post by Mike Capps, president of the Gears of War and Unreal Engine company.
"Epic is going to do something to help them, and we want people to understand why we think it’s the right thing to do," said Capps of the Big Huge Games staff.
According to Capp's comments, the Big Huge Games senior team contacted Epic with a view to establish a new company. Big Huge Games apparently asked Capps if they could work with an Epic IP for a new game and as a starting point for the studio.
"We loved that they all wanted to keep working together, but it was pretty clear they’d have trouble building a demo and securing funding before their personal savings ran out," said Capps.
However, in what Capps describes as a coincidence, Epic's directors were the same day discussing plans to enable the studio to work on more numerous projects. To do so, stated Capps: "we’d need a dramatic infusion of top talent to do so. Which, we all knew, was impossible."
He then added: "So now we’re planning to start an impossible studio in Baltimore."
Capps made clear that the new studio is unlikely to be set-up with immediate effect, as there are numerous logistical issues to address. However, recognising that many Big Huge Games staff have allegedly been unpaid for an extended period, the Epic president revealed plans to hire some Big Head Games staff at Epic's Cary, North Carolina as contractors.
"There’s a million things to work out," concluded Capps. "How many of the team can we hire? What will it be called? What will they be working on? We don’t know all the answers yet. Please give us some time to figure it out; we hope to have more to share soon.
"The way we see it, there’s been a big storm in Baltimore, and we’re taking in a few of the refugees — as are the awesome folks at Zynga East, Zenimax Online, and other south eastern studios. Epic’s in a situation where we can do this, and it very clearly fits with our company values, so we’re going to give it a whirl."