Epic Games buys People Can Fly

Epic Games now owns Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly, a studio they acquired a majority share in, in 2007, the company told Polygon today.

Epic Games now owns Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly, a studio they acquired a majority share of in 2007, the company told Polygon today.

The purchase of the Warsaw, Poland-based developer was tied to the departure of Adrian Chmielarz, Andrzej Poznanski and Michal Kosieradzki, Epic's Mark Rein told Polygon in an interview. It won't impact the game's the studio is working.

"We doubled down on People Can Fly," Rein said. "It was something we always hoped to do."

The decision to buy out the company, which ultimately led to the departure of Chmielarz, Poznanski and Kosieradzk all happened within the last week, Rein said. But he said the group's departure was amiable.

"We will be helping (Chmielarz) with some future announcements," he said. "Our paths will be crossing again."

Epic Games relationship with People Can Fly, which got a name for itself after developing shooter Painkiller, started years ago when Chmielarz approached Epic about licensing their Unreal Engine, Rein said.

The studio was looking for a new project, and the money to keep the business afloat, and Epic was impressed with the talent they saw.

"We hooked them up right away," Rein said. "They did a really cool prototype, awesome art and design."

Rein went to Epic president Mike Capps to find work for the struggling company, and they floated People Can Fly some cash and ultimately brought them in to work on the PC version of Gears of War.

That relationship led to People Can Fly working on all future Gears of War iterations and ultimately being handed development of Gears of War: Judgement.

Epic Games now has five wholly owned subsidiaries: Chair, Impossible Games, People Can Fly, Epic Japan and Epic Korea. All but Japan and Korea spend a bulk of their time developing games.

While the purchase led to the departure of three key people at People Can Fly, Rein stressed that it won't have a negative impact on Judgement. Nor, he said, will the departure of Rod Fergusson, who left the company this month to go to Irrational Games, where he will be working on Bioshock Infinite.

"Rod was the director of production, he was overseeing all of the producers," Rein said. "That's not to say he wasn't touching it at all, but he no longer had that direct role."

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