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People Can Buy: Epic Gobbles Up Painkiller Developers

People Can Fry

This headline feels like it’s dropped in from from 2007. Back then Epic put a pile of money under a giant washing basket. Then Mark Rein waited with a length of string tied to a stick and hoped for a developer to wander underneath. Painkiller devs People Can Fly did, enticed by the money and banquet that Rein had seeded his trap with. But when the trap came tumbling down, PCF left a leg sticking out, so all Epic got was a bit of the company. As of today, Epic Games have trapped that missing leg and now fully own the Bulletstorm developers. They’ve bought the final chunk of the company from founder, Adrian Chmielarz.
Chmielarz, and other studio heads Andrzej Poznanski and Michal Kosieradzki, left the company to pursue other opportunities, although the split comes across as rather amicable. What does this mean? In terms of games output I’m guessing not a lot: they’ll continue to channel their bombastic approach into the sort of games Epic are famous for: the Polish developers made Bulletstorm, and they’re currently working on Grrrrs Of Wrrrrr: Judgment for their new owners. It seems to me that they have the perfect studio to carry the Unreal series, if they fancy continuing in that direction. While the home team focus on the tech, the away team make the explosions.

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Craig Pearson

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