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Epic Games — the creators behind battle royale sensation Fortnite, the Unreal game development engine, and the controversial digital PC storefront the Epic Games Store — have today announced that they’ve established a brand new studio. Based in Cologne, Germany, the imaginatively named Epic Games Cologne is being led by Julian Eggebrecht and Achim Moller, the principal members of Cologne-based developer Factor 5.
Factor 5 is possibly best known for its Turrican and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron franchises, though it should be noted that the company hasn’t released a video game since the poorly received PS3 launch window title Lair. What’ve they been up to since 2007, then? The official Epic statement says that new Epic Games Director of Online Technology, Eggebrecht, and Cologne Studio Director, Moller, have “been on the forefront” of media delivery. In doing so they’ve been working with the big-name likes of Sony and Microsoft as technology partners, in addition to collaborating alongside video content streaming services such as Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix.
The new Cologne studio has its focus set on new interactive media and streaming platforms, making the intention behind Epic’s Factor 5 hires plain to see. What this means for the kinds of projects the studio will be working on is up in the air; presumably, they won’t be developing new games, so maybe some form of cross-media Fortnite content, like a TV show for streaming platforms. With Netflix implementing gameplay-style features into shows such as Black Mirror‘s Bandersnatch — as well as collaborating with Telltale Games before the studio, known for its episodic adventure games, closed down — perhaps we could see some form of hybrid.
Naturally, the above is mere speculation and only time will tell what the staff at Epic Games Cologne, led by the former Factor 5 leads, will be getting up to. Maybe we’ll hear more next week when the wider gaming world shifts its attention towards Cologne as the host city of Gamescom 2019.