Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney and co-founder Mark Rein will each be honored with Develop magazine's Development Legend award and inducted into the publication's games development hall of fame next month, Epic announced today.
Sweeney (above left), who is also Epic's CEO and technical director, and Rein (right), who serves as vice president, will be the first non-British developers to receive the award. Previous honorees include Peter Molyneux, Phil Harrison and David Perry. The awards will be presented to Sweeney and Rein during the Develop Industry Excellence Awards, which will be held at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton, U.K., on July 10.
Sweeney founded Epic as Potomac Computer Systems in 1991 while in college, and soon afterward renamed the company Epic MegaGames. Rein joined in 1992 as Sweeney's business partner. The studio enjoyed early success with shareware titles such as ZZT and Jazz Jackrabbit, but its most enduring creation resulted from the development of the seminal first-person shooter Unreal, which launched in 1998. Epic began licensing the game's underlying technology, the Unreal Engine, to other studios. Now in its fourth iteration, the Unreal Engine is the basis for countless games from mobile titles to major console and Windows PC productions. Epic MegaGames became Epic Games in 1999.
"As this current generation of games consoles closes and as interactive content continues to spread across mobile, web and away from the TV, it is the right time to present our prestigious Legend honor to those who have helped define these changes," said Michael French, editor-in-chief of Develop, in a press release announcing the honors.
"this is awesome!"
"I owe much gratitude to Develop and to all of the gamers and developers who have supported Epic Games, and Mark and I personally, throughout our company's 22-year history," said Sweeney. "This is awesome!"
"I've always been a huge fan and supporter of the British game industry, so it is truly a special honor for me to be able to accept this recognition, along with Tim, on behalf of everyone at Epic who has worked tirelessly over the years to delight British gaming enthusiasts and to empower British game developers with the Unreal Engine," added Rein.
For more on Rein, Sweeney and their company, check out our extensive feature on the history of Epic Games.