Epic’s Turning Chinese I Really Think So

By Alec Meer on June 19th, 2012 at 9:00 pm.

why ain't this on GoG yet?

With the Western gaming industry, or at least the traditional boxed product aspect of it, currently in the doldrums (just ask Max Payne) many eyes have turned Eastwards. Huge audiences, huge development manpower, increasingly huge piles of cash, both real and potential. China especially is slowly moving into (and being moved into for) games, despite having a mainland ban of sorts on consoles, and the next major herald of its intentions comes in the news that Chinese giant Tencent has bought a “minority interest” in Jazz Jackrabbit developer, Epic.

Last year, Tencent bought up League of Legends dev Riot, but they’ve not walked directly into a controlling stake of Epic. The Unreal studio (and, perhaps more important, Unreal engine owner) will remain independent but start to increasingly look at new platforms and territories, presumably in addition to its current practices.

We don’t know how much Tencent paid for their stake, but given the size of Epic these days and given some $400 million changed hands for Riot, it’s not going to be a small sum.

Here’s Epic prez Michael Capps on Tencent: “Their expertise in the global online gaming market is second-to-none, and the opportunity to work with them to bring richer experiences to players all over the world is irresistible. Epic is excited to be full steam ahead on all of its current plans for this generation of games and the next, with the support of a fantastic partner that believes in our strategy and shares our dream.”

Funny, I thought Epic’s dream was making a game in which you can shoot a man in the bottom.

Epic’s not a total stranger to China, as it already has a stake in a company known as Ying Pei Games. Which translates as… Epic Games. It was briefly known as Epic Games China in fact, but things got very confusing there. Anyway, they’re making a cover shooter called Mercenary Ops, not to be confused with Spec Ops.

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54 Comments »

  1. Vinraith says:

    Jazz Jackrabbit, Jill of the Jungle, and Android Pinball are still the games I most associate with Epic.

    It’s possible I’m old.

    • Phantoon says:

      No, it’s certain you’re old.

      • Vinraith says:

        Get off my lawn.

        • Bhazor says:

          A glorious new age for our electronic old men.

          • Jackablade says:

            He did mistake Epic Pinball for Android Pinball which was only one, though arguably the best, of the tables. I’m not sure whether that makes me older or just less senile.

            I had a bit of a soft spot for Xargon myself. Granted it was pretty much just a graphical overhaul of Jill of the Jungle, but the music was great.

            Oh and Ken’s Labyrinth coz it was an FPS I could play without my mum getting up in arms about the violence.

          • Vinraith says:

            Well, I remembered that there were other tables, but since I only ever played that one it was the only one I could recall.

          • Bluerps says:

            I am not sure (because that was a really long time ago), but I think there was a demo which only had that one table.

          • Vinraith says:

            You got Android free and had to pay for the rest, per the old (lovely) Shareware model.

          • Skabooga says:

            Ah man, Jill of the Jungle and Xargon. My immediate, primal memories attached to both of those games are brilliant, vital bursts of color everywhere. Enough color to make your eyes bleed rainbows.

      • ImOnTheRadio says:

        Hey, I’m only15 and the best game I remember from Epic is Jazz Jackrabbit 2!
        Well, that might just be that it’s the last GREAT game from them I remember. Sadly I haven’t tried the first Jazz Jackrabbit though.

    • Eclipse says:

      I still think Jill of the Jungle is Epic’s best game hands down

    • Maktaka says:

      You’re not OLD old until you can rent ultra-porn.

    • acheron says:

      ZZT for life.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Back when they didn’t just make mere games, but megagames.

    • BooleanBob says:

      These are the games I most associate with Epic (Megagames), and I’m 24 – not old (but definitely ageing).

      Was always more of an Apogee fanboy, even though Jazz Jackrabbit was the first game I ever bought for my 75mhz Pentium I box.

      Just nobody start talking about Dare To bloody Dream.

    • Flint says:

      I really wish they’d release an Epic Platformers Pack or something. Jazz, Xargon, Jill of the Jungle and other Epic Megagames classics all together to feed my nostalgia.

    • DK says:

      How dare you forget One Must Fall 2097. Easily top 3 Epic games.(published not developed)

  2. Dowr says:

    … huh? What? Sorry, I went into a trance of nostalgia there after looking at that image of Jack.

  3. Salt says:

    Tencent have a strict policy of only ever owning ten percent of anything.

  4. Bhazor says:

    And when I’m down to my socks that’s when you know its business time.

    OT
    “Anyway, they’re making a cover shooter called Mercenary Ops. ”
    Oh. Well.

  5. Rhin says:

    For some reason I liked JJ a lot more than I liked Sonic. Maybe if they released a Sonic with a gun…..

  6. InternetBatman says:

    I hope they do a better job then they did with Riot, well they only have 10% so I guess it doesn’t matter. I wasn’t playing Lol for long before the acquisition, but it seemed like new characters started coming more quickly, were less balanced on arrival, and had less unique abilities.

    • misterT0AST says:

      And if at first they were very unique (Yeti Rider, Sad Mummy, Fiddlesticks the scarecrow), now they just look like “Generic cool guy/hot girl number #56″ (Varus, Fiora, Darius). A real shame.

    • cyrenic says:

      New champions have been released every 2-3 weeks in LoL before and after Tencent bought out Riot. The quality of said champions are debatable, but the game remains super popular.

      I follow League of Legends pretty closely, and haven’t noticed any influence from an evil corporate overlord. Riot controls the game itself, for better or worse.

  7. SwedenDutchFrance says:

    5 CABUL CLOSE ZING PING PONG $

  8. KauhuK says:

    Epic should use the latest Unreal engine to make a new 2D Jazz Jackrabbit.

  9. zontax says:

    I expected news about Jazz Jackrabbit 3.

    Now I’m sad.

    • Gonefornow says:

      I hope you aren’t referring to Jazz 3D.
      *Shudders*
      Well at least it ain’t as bad as Jim 3D.
      *Double shudders*

      • zontax says:

        There was a Jazz 3d? I wasn’t referring to that.
        I was thinking about a sequel to one of my first games, jazz jackrabbit 2.
        WHY DID YOU HAVE TO MAKE GEARS, EPIC? WHY?

        • Glen Moyes says:

          Yes, yes there was. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jazz_Jackrabbit_3 It was never finished though.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Datafacts! There’s some leaked gameplay footage on YouTube if you rummage, and it looked like it might have gone either way on awkwardness of transition to the 3D world.

          Note that that link also has a whole pile of music Alexander Brandon made for it and just released for free when it got canned.

          • Koozer says:

            MY EARS
            <3

          • demondays says:

            actually u can dl JJ3 if u search good:P I played it not so long ago although its unfinished and kinda buggy. + whole idea to put this series in 3d like this is fail. Sure it can be in 3d but in the style of trine.. not some rayman…

          • LionsPhil says:

            All we need now is for An Elysian Tale to finally make an appearance, so that we can get more of Dat Soundtrack from the trailer.

  10. Xardas Kane says:

    So basically Epic is going to shoot Chinese in the arse? Don’t see how they are going to share their dream otherwise.

  11. Xzi says:

    Tencent is definitely good on the business side of things, but they are clueless when it comes to developing a fun game. Basically like Kotick.

    Epic would be ruined with majority control from Tencent, so let’s hope this doesn’t go any further.

  12. Jazz says:

    I love Jazz Jackrabbit… I hoped they were making a sequel when I saw the picture but that ain’t happening anytime soon.

  13. Ninja Dodo says:

    I too am disappointed this is not news of a sequel. JJ2 was a cool game.

  14. Ceyoda says:

    I jumped out of my chair when I seen the Jazz picture thinking there was news of a sequel/remake going on. God dammit lol.