In an interview with Glixel, Epic founder Tim Sweeney discussed why the company switched its focus from PC to consoles and back again. “We built PC games for all of Epic’s history: Jazz Jackrabbit, Jill of the Jungle, Epic Pinball, and then Unreal. But before Steam, PC game revenue started falling off a cliff, right around the time BitTorrent and Napster came out.”

“Piracy became really easy and accessible with broadband Internet. Our competitors who were shipping games were almost going out of business, because for every copy they sold there would be like 10 pirated copies. As a result, PC was not growing as a viable platform for the scale of game that we wanted to build. We wanted to build games like Gears of War.”

” At the time of Microsoft’s acquisition of the Gears of War franchise in 2014, Microsoft said the series had sold more than 22 million copies, earning $1 billion in revenue. A funny thing happened in the console market, though. Budgets were being bid up. The first Gears of War cost $12 million for us to make. And it made us $100 million in profit. So that was awesome. But by Gears of War: Judgment, the game cost about $60 million to build, and made about $100 million still.”

With PS4 and Xbox One around the corner, Epic Games expected costs to double again, while the audience still had to adopt the new devices. “We felt we would be of questionable viability as a standalone developer in Triple A.”