Could anyone have predicted that Epic Games - developer of Fortnite and Gears of War, creator of the Unreal Engine, and powerhouse behind the Epic Games Store, Steam's biggest rival - would buy up Mediatonic, the studio behind hit pandemic game Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout? Not us, that's for sure.
Here's part of the statement that Mediatonic issued today:
"Since Fall Guys broke out in August, we’ve put everything we have into the game, and the Fall Guys team has already grown massively from 35 to 150+. Yet, there is so much more we want to build for our players.
With our publisher Devolver Digital supporting and championing us along the way with Fall Guys, Foul Play and Hatoful Boyfriend, we've been able to bring some truly unique experiences to players as an independent studio.
Joining forces with Epic will accelerate our plans to improve the game and bring Fall Guys to as many players as possible, while continuing to support the community."
In the FAQ on their site, Mediatonic talks about Fall Guys getting similar support to what Rocket League has - "account systems, cross-play, squad vs squad modes, etc." They specifically cite Fall Guys as the main reason that this partnership happened, stating that their future goals are to "take the game to new (dizzying) heights."
Fear not, the game is still coming to Switch (and remaining on current platforms, too) - Epic's involvement seemingly does not include exclusivity. "If you own the game on [Steam or PlayStation], you’ll still be able to play it from there and will receive future updates," the FAQ reads. "We are also still planning to bring Fall Guys to Nintendo Switch and Xbox."
Epic founder Tim Sweeney mentions that the company is interested in building up their "Metaverse" - a uniquely modern concept in which a virtual place can become a hub for social and economic activity, that is persistently online and available whether you're logged in or not. If it sounds like a science fiction idea, that's because it is - "the Metaverse" was coined by speculative fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. (For a more detailed insight into the Metaverse, Washington Post's article is a great read.)
It seems like Epic and Mediatonic are mostly interested in furthering the popularity and possibility of Fall Guys as an ongoing service, similar to Rocket League, and not so much in the creation of new games - at least for the time being.
What are your thoughts, worries, and unanswered questions following this news? Let us know in the comments.