Epic Games, the developers Gears of War and the Unreal Engine among other things, has announced the formation of a new UK based studio in the form of Epic Games UK. Far from starting from scratch this move actually incorporates Pitbull Studio, a long standing partner of Epic Games in the UK, to create Epic Games UK.
Pitbull Studio was originally brought on by Epic a few years back to work on the development of the Unreal Engine from their primary base of Sunderland in the north of England. The transition to becoming Epic Games UK maintains the base of operations out of Sunderland while expanding the remit of the company's smaller offices in Guildford and Leamington Spa, 300 and 200 miles to the south of Sunderland respectively. To that end recruitment has begun for a number of roles including animation programmer, engine programmer, support engineer and engine community manager.
The main focus for Epic Games UK would appear to be continued work on the Unreal 4 Engine while supporting Unreal developers across Europe. To date, under the previous guise of Pitbull Studio, Epic Games UK has been involved in developing for the Unreal Engine from the likes of rendering and physics, through localization support and platform tools.
With this level of contribution it is easy to see why Epic would want to bring Pitbull into the fold as it were and the CEO of Epic Tim Sweeney was very complimentary about the team joining them:
“Pitbull has been essential in helping us develop the best tools and technology for building the next generation of games. They’ve been invested in UE4’s evolution since its early beginnings, and their dedication is unflinching.”
Here’s hoping that this particular venture works out better for Epic Games UK than it did for the Epic Baltimore studio founded back in June 2012. Baltimore quickly found itself renamed to Impossible Studios before closing after just 6 months of operations. Epic Games UK would appear to be set on a much more solid foundation. Their focus is more on expansion of currently successful operations, whereas Epic Baltimore was the attempted salvation of two previously bankrupted studios - 38 Studios’ and Big Huge Games.