Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has tried to cheer on a new generation of game developers, especially those who feel they missed their chance. He recalled the times when he was afraid of “titans” like Electronic Arts while working on the first Unreal.
Sweeney shared his thoughts on Twitter, saying that he thought he had already missed the opportunity at the beginning of his game development career.
In the early 90s, the industry was dominated by “titans” like EA, so Sweeney tried to make small shareware games “just hoping to get by as a participant.” But then id Software released Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM, which changed the whole paradigm.
“The titans were busy building huge 2D games and Epic took a huge leap of faith on 3D,” Sweeney wrote. “We assembled our smaller teams into one big team to build Unreal — something we had no idea how to do at the time!”
The titans were busy building huge 2D games and Epic took a huge leap of faith on 3D. We assembled our smaller teams into one big team to build Unreal – something we had no idea how to do at the time! After 3.5 years of hard work, we figured it out, and it paid off.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) July 10, 2022
The first Unreal came out in 1998 after 3.5 years in development. The game not only became the first big hit for Epic Games, but was also recognized for its breakthrough graphics and opened new opportunities for other developers, thanks to the company’s own engine.
“Anyway, if you’re in your early 20’s or approaching it and you’re feeling you missed out, and that the field is full of established titans you can’t possibly compete with, keep going,” Sweeney concluded. “Your time will come. If not in the current wave of tech, then the next one.”