Mike Capps, Epic Games' forthright president, is not one to mince words. In a recent interview he's labelled the games industry as 'shockingly immature', particularly from a business standpoint, and suggests that companies would do well to share experiences, content and knowledge to help the industry grow as a whole, somethat that he says Epic are constantly looking to push forward.
"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," said Capps, talking to GamesIndustry.biz. "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."
Capps notes that having a proprietaryengine such as Unreal has allowed a community of creative licensees to grow up around it, a community that is constantly talking to one another, helping one another out. Far from spiteful competition, Capps notes that everyone's "in it together".
"When I was a licensee probably half the questions were answered by other licensees because you're all in it together," continues Capps. "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.
"I love that about middleware just in general. We use a lot of middleware, not just our engine, but we license ten or fifteen, because it lets us all do better stuff. We're not all reinventing the wheel and designing a car engine to get some place, we buy a car and then go. And that let's us do so much more. Not everybody can build a fantastic physics engine. I think we might be able to, if we worked really hard, but why don't we just take that good free one? That sounds way better. And then let's focus on physics interaction with players and that fun stuff."