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Epic: Games business is "shockingly immature"

Developers need to collaborate for the greater good of the industry, says Capps

Although a great industry for entrepreneurs to thrive, the business of making games is still "shockingly immature" according to Epic Games president Mike Capps.

Speaking in an exclusive interview published today, Capps said that there needs to be more shared learning, content and experiences for the industry to grow bigger and better, and his company is dedicated to furthering the greater good of the games business.

"Our games industry is shockingly immature from a business perspective, because so few folks have business experience before coming in, or an education for business," he said.

"It's awesome because it's entrepreneurship gone right, that's what our industry comes from, and that's really exciting, but there's not a lot of sharing, there's not a lot of great game business 'how to' books, so we try to share and people listen to us, for some reason, and we try to learn as much as we can from everybody else and their mistakes. It just seemed like the right thing to do."

It's awesome because it's entrepreneurship gone right, but there's not a lot of sharing, there's not a lot of great game business 'how to' books

Mike Capps, Epic Games

Epic famously lobbied Microsoft to up the memory of the Xbox 360 from 256MB to 512MB to help make better games on the system, and it has also been vocal with Nvidia's hardware and for future home consoles. "It's one of our values," adds Capps.

Licensees of Epic's Unreal Engine also contribute to the community, said Capps, rather than acting selfishly to get the upper hand on competing companies.

"There's no reason, if you find a bug, you don't go 'ha ha ha, that'll give us an edge on Splinter Cell!' Because it doesn't at all and so you share it, because it's one less thing that Epic has to find and fix and they can focus on something you care more about. And you share with the Mass Effect guys and they share with you.

Elsewhere in the interview Capps revealed that although the company is supporting the PlayStation Vita, the company doesn't have a game for the handheld in development and he's unsure at this point how the audience for Epic experiences will adopt the new hardware.

"We're not currently making a Vita game, I'm not sure how well it's going to be accepted in our Western market which is primarily where our games sell," he said. "It's a really cool platform, but I have a phone, and it's really hard to compete with that.

"So I'm not sure if it will be successful or not, I hope they are, it's good for the games industry, but we got our tech on it really early.

"We were, I think, one of the very first people to get one and work with it and we were on stage at the launch, because we have a lot of licensees who are curious about it and so we did the first part. But we can't really fully support that platform unless we're shipping our own games, that's how we know we know that platform, and it's really important for us to do that."

The full interview, where Capps also discusses why he's "scared" of revealing new IP to fans, can be read here.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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