Epic expands with new Tokyo office

Epic expands with new Tokyo office

By Rob Crossley

September 25th 2009 at 10:19AM

New studio will â?? initially â?? provide Unreal Engine support to local businesses

Epic Games has founded a new Tokyo office in its latest bid to expand the company’s Eastern businesses.

The new studio will initially establish an Unreal Engine business from within Japan, ramping up local sales and support operations for the popular game engine.

“Epic Games has an expectation of much closer relationships with Japanese studios," said the firm's president Mike Capps, speaking at a Tokyo Game Show press conference.

The TGS keynote – entitled ‘Adapting the Gears of War Franchise for Global Consumption’ – also saw Capps hint at future Japan-based game development operations.

“We may have secret plans to hire some Japanese game developers too," said Capps, as quoted by Kotaku.

The announcement of a new Japanese studio comes as the games industry becomes increasingly enamoured with (and dependent on) globalisation.

Japan-based publishing giant Square Enix has typified this growing trend, having acquired UK-founded publisher Eidos this year as well as partnering with UK developer Frontier.

Square Enix also licensed Epic’s Unreal Engine to develop the 2009 title The Last Remnant.

Capps revealed that Square Enix had sent its development workforce to Epic's North Carolina offices, for a number of weeks, to receive support on working with the engine.

In that exchange, Epic realised it would be a challenge to send its modestly-sized workforce to Japan without sacrificing its own operations. “So, our idea is to send people from within Japan," added Capps.