Epic Games' Mark Rein • Page 2

On Gears of War 2 (well, we tried), Unreal Engine and PC gaming.

Eurogamer: PC Gaming Alliance is another thing that's come up recently, and you're members. I'm sure you've been asked this about a dozen times already this week, but last week Cliff Bleszinski said PC gaming is in "disarray" -

Mark Rein: Cliff's an idiot! [Laughs] I'm kidding, obviously.

Eurogamer: Did you go and have a go at him about that?

Mark Rein: Oh yeah. Hey, Cliff is Cliff, and he's making a console game, and that's what he's focused on, so that's what his thinking is all about. But as a company, we make PC games. We love the PC, it's our heritage, we want to see it be strong, and we want to sell games like Unreal Tournament III and Gears of War on PC, and have them sell as well as they do on console.

I mean, why not? There's way more PCs out there than there are consoles, but unfortunately most PCs out there are not capable of playing games and that's something that falls on all of us - the hardware manufacturers and publishers - to make people understand, and developers to make sure games run well on the lower-end stuff.

So the PC Gaming Alliance is a great opportunity for us to have a great, open, honest dialogue with all the different stakeholders in the PC business. One of the big problems of the PC business is there's no platform holder. And so many people are switching to laptops, and most laptops just don't have enough power to play these games. I'm not saying every computer needs an 8800 GTX, but at least give users an experience so they can experience games.

And then there's other problems - piracy's clearly a problem, and there's all kinds of other things again because the PC is not just a gaming platform. The idea behind the Gaming Alliance is to help the PC platform be a better gaming platform, and we totally support that. As soon as they invited us we said 'yes, here's our cheque'. It took all of ten minutes to decide we wanted to be involved in this.

Ongoing support is expected for UT3 on PC and PS3, with Rein adding that 360 fans will get some good stuff too.

Eurogamer: What's the PC Gaming Alliance going to do, practically?

Mark Rein: I don't want to put words in their mouths, but some of our goals are to do what we can to push the graphics standards, minimum PC specs, to make sure developers are well-represented in this group, and that people understand the role that we play. And understand how we're entertainment software companies. We're not that much different to a movie company - we're content creators and we want to make sure that our voices are heard and it's not just a bunch of hardware guys talking about hardware.

Eurogamer: Changing subject, your old pal Denis Dyack is in town -

Mark Rein: Oh come on. Leave the guy alone.

Eurogamer: I just wanted to check on the status of the lawsuit.

Mark Rein: I'm not going to say anything about that.

Eurogamer: Have you seen Too Human?

Mark Rein: I'm not going to say anything about that.

Eurogamer: Midway put out some UT3 figures recently. Are you happy with how it's done?

Mark Rein: Yeah, we're happy with how it's done. We sure as heck didn't pick the best time in the world to ship it. It was shooter heaven and we're up against five shooters with much larger marketing budgets than we had. So I'm not sure that was the greatest idea, but when it comes out of the oven you want to serve it hot, so...

But no, we're really happy - the PlayStation 3 version's done really well, the PC version's done okay too, you saw their numbers and it's not bad shipments. We're doing well and we're making improvements to the game too. We've got the mod stuff and there's tons of cool mods, and that's really starting to take off, especially on the PlayStation 3, so what can we do to make mods easier to find, to have a bit of a community, so that's one of the improvements we want to do - to bring a mod browser right into the game. We have a whole bunch of ideas. We're working on an update for the game right now. We shipped a really good game and we're going to make it better.

Eurogamer: What else are you guys up to? Are you looking at doing any digital download stuff, like XBLA or PSN?

Mark Rein: No. UT and Gears are pretty much it. We have two game teams and an engine team.

Eurogamer: And no plans for the Wii?

Mark Rein: You can see we're improving things on the platforms we're already on, so why dilute our efforts for a platform that - hardware-wise - just isn't really suited to what we're doing?

Eurogamer: And it's going so well people are even suggesting Microsoft is going to buy you. I liked your reaction to the USD 1 billion figure, that you wished people would say USD 2 billion...

Mark Rein: If you're going to print crazy, ridiculous things, you might as well make them extra crazy.

Mark Rein is vice president of Epic Games.

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About the author

Tom Bramwell

Tom Bramwell

Contributor  |  tombramwell

Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.


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