Epic Games have bought Tonic Games Group, the parent company of Mediatonic, who are the developers of Fall Guys. Mediatonic say that it won't change much for Fall Guys, for now, and the wacky multiplayer game will remain purchasable on Steam.
Fall Guys was a breakout success last year thanks in part to its popularity on Twitch, and it peaked with over a 100k concurrent players on Steam in its month of release. Its popularity has waned since, but Mediatonic have continued to update the game with new modes and DLC costumes for the bean people who wobble through its multiplayer obstacle courses.
In a post on the Mediatonic blog, the developers mostly said that everything would remain the same for now: Fall Guys will still be available on Steam, and they still plan to bring it to Switch and Xbox. On the subject of going free-to-play, however, they said only that they had "nothing to announce right now." So I guess it's going free-to-play. They also write that they hope to adopt some features already available in Epic's Fortnite and Rocket League, such as crossplay, squad vs. squad modes, and more.
Although this announcement is clearly focused around Fall Guys, the Tonic Games Group also own indie publisher Irregular Corporation and another developer, Fortitude Games. Irregular Corp publish games such as PC Building Simulator and The Good Life, among several others.
Mediatonic are also about more than just Fall Guys. They've been around for over 15 years, initially focusing on creating Flash conversions of other people's games. They're also the makers of pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend and last year's nonogram-meets-visual novel mystery, Murder By Numbers
Fall Guys is another live service feather in Epic Games' cap, after they acquired Rocket League devleoper Psyonix in 2019. It would be easy to see these acquisitions through the lens of their desire to grow their digital distribution platform, the Epic Games Store, but Epic founder Tim Sweeney cited a different shared goal in the announcement.
"It’s no secret that Epic is invested in building the metaverse and Tonic Games shares this goal," Sweeny said. "As Epic works to build this virtual future, we need great creative talent who know how to build powerful games, content and experiences." Hmm. I bet the new revenue stream is nice, too.