Epic Games had as good a year in 2018 as any technology company. The Fortnite has become the most popular game in the world, increasing the company's valuation to $ 15 billion but helped the company to accumulate cash as well. Epic earned a profit of $ 3 billion for this year fueled by the continued success of Fortnite.
Fortnite, which is free to play, but makes money by selling digital items, popularized the battle royale category - think of Lord of the Flies along with Hunger Games - and almost alone, has been the title of the American video game publisher.
Last September, Epic came to an appreciation of nearly $ 15 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Tencent, the maker of the WeChat chat application and a productive gaming company, became the first external investor in Epic's 2012 business when it injected $ 330 million in exchange for an 40% stake in the business.
At that time, Epic was best known for the Unreal Engine, the third-party development platform that still operates today, and best-selling titles such as Gears of War.
Executives believed that Epic, as it were, was living on borrowed time. They felt a shift in the way the games were based on declining returns and increasing budgets for console games, the rise of "live" games like League of Legends and the emerging role of smartphones.
Speaking to Polygon about Tencent's business, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney explained that Tencent's investment money allowed the company to follow the route of freemium games instead of big-box titles. This is a strategy that Sweeney called "Epic 4.0".
"We realized that the business really needed to change its approach quite significantly. We were seeing some of the best games in the industry being built and operated as live games over time instead of major retail releases. We recognize that Epic's ideal role in the industry is to propel it, and so we begin the transition from being a fairly limited console developer focused on the Xbox to be a multiplatform and auto-publisher, and indie large-scale game developer, "he he explained.
Tencent, adds Sweeney, provided "a wealth of useful advice," while the capital allowed Epic "to take that huge leap without the immediate fear of money."
While Fortnite is its most prolific release, Epic also makes money from other games, Unreal Engine and a recently launched online game store that rivals Steam. Epic's big differential for the store is that it gives developers 88% of their revenue, unlike Valve - the company behind Steam - which holds 30%, though it has added variable rates to more successful titles. Customers are promised a free title every two weeks.