Epic Games, the North Carolina-based eSports giant that produces one of the world’s most popular video games, Fortnite, has made two international acquisitions. This comes less than three months after Epic Games raised a landmark funding round of $1.25 billion, achieving a post-money valuation of $15 billion.
These acquisitions are strategic additions to Epic Games’ offerings, which, in addition to Fortnite, Gears of War, Infinity Blade and more, includes game development platform Unreal Engine. Epic licenses Unreal Engine to video game developers around the world; it is second in use only to its main competitor, Unity.
3Lateral, which develops “digital humans technology,” or realistic computer-generated human characters, has worked with Epic Games in the past. They have collaborated on several short movies and animations that used the Unreal Engine platform.
3Lateral’s team of about 60 will now work on improving the design and realism of avatars within Unreal Engine. Its founder and director, Vladimir Mastilovic, will lead Epic Games’ digital human efforts.
“Real-time 3D experiences are reshaping the entire entertainment industry, and digital human technology is at the forefront. Fortnite shows that 200,000,000 people can experience a 3D world together. Reaching the next level requires capturing, personalizing, and conveying individual human faces and emotions,” said Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney in a statement.
The second acquisition, of the much-smaller Agog Labs, appears to also center around the improvement of the Unreal Engine. The five-year-old startup develops SkookumScript, a scripting tool and command console used to create AI, gameplay and direction aspects within video games.
The Agog Labs teams said in a blog post that it will “cease active development” of SkookumScript, but it will exist as a plugin for Unreal Engine 4.
“Here at Agog Labs our goal has always been to create authoring and development tools that allow people to focus on bringing their passionate imaginings to life. We melt our brains so you don’t have to. Epic has the same goals and spark of mad science, which makes it easy to align our paths,” Agog Lab’s CEO Conan Reis wrote in the blog.
While headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, Epic Games’ over-2,000 employees are spread across 10 offices across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. They currently have over 150 roles open.