EPIC Games philosophy and unprecedented ambitions: “Yuan World” reconstruct the Internet

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  1. Editor’s note: Recently, EPIC has told Apple and Google, it is really too much. Everyone who is doing the Internet and the game industry should look at Epic’s ambitions and efforts to match. The founder Sweeney hopes to create a world, which will not only make developers make games easier and get greater profits from it, but also in it, technology can continue to become the help of truth, goodness and beauty. The original title “Epics and”

    In the “Epic Games series articles”, Jacob Navok and Matthew Ball have already outlined EPIC to use the success and scale of Fortnite to launch. New services, technology and experience, these services, technology and experience are either zero income or almost zero profits.

    Apparently, this method has some non -financial benefits. For example, the scale of EPIC account systems and player networks has continued to expand, and the quality, capabilities and coverage of EPIC back -end infrastructure services are also expanding. And these invisible interests require a financial background. EPIC’s new business can generate billions of dollars. After all, they provide world -class products and participate in industries that already have considerable income and high profits.

    . The founder, CEO of EPIC Games and Tim Sweeney, the major shareholder, not only chose to oppose this value, but also chose to completely transfer the value out of the business, and deliberately avoided the customer or player on the EPIC Binding method.

    For example, in history, game developers have two options. (1) Free services bound to platforms such as STEAM or Xbox; (2) There are no paid services bound to the platform. However, EOS is free, without platform binding, requirements and restrictions. This means a game that does not use illusions, cannot be released on Epic Games, or even sells through the EPIC Games Store. It can replace a considerable part of online operations and costs … This part of this cost is borne by EPIC. In fact, developers do not even need to use EPIC IDs, unless they choose to use EOS in EOS to structure its elements (such as PVP matching between players). In general, this means that there are no reasons for countless multi -person online service business. The lock effects of Steam, Network and Microsoft Xbox have been weakened.

    . Another good example is the EPIC game store. EGS sales games are 12%, while industry standards are 30%. But if a game developer uses illusions and EGS at the same time, the fantasy 5%authorization fee can be exempted. The authorization of game distribution and game engine is obviously different services, so EPIC is fair for these two services. However, Sweeney hopes not to charge it. Correspondingly, EPIC is not only pushing down the industry’s income shares obtained by the game store, but also eroding the revenue of the game engine. Their core business! And such actions continue.

    In May 2020, EPIC announced that it will exempt all the unreal engine authorization fees with a total revenue of $ 1 million before the game (this policy will also be traced back to January 1). Of course, the total income of most games will not exceed $ 1 million. Therefore, they will no longer create any income for the illusion engine. Anyway, small -income games have never created much value for the Unreal Companies, because the company charges 5%of flowing water from developers. However, as the most widely deployed engine of small/mobile games, Unity has deployed a unified “per” charging. Therefore, for users with a Unity Pro permit, even a game with a income of $ 1,000 will bring income to the company.

    Now, a small developer with a budget is facing a unique risk return decision when choosing an engine. To choose Unity, you need to pay prepaid, or you choose illusions, unless they have achieved great success, they are free. Unity may choose to match the illusion exemption, but even if it does not do this, EPIC’s actions will reduce the overall value of the engine industry.

    In extensive speaking, we can consider the new system “Nanite” launched by EPIC in 2020, which will become part of the Unreal Engine 5. Over the years, companies such as Simplygon (now part of Microsoft) have provided solutions to help developers solve the complex problem of “details”. The LOD solution ensures that the game only loads the “correct” graphics details according to the player’s context. This is very important, because the more details of the game loaded, the more difficult the game will run, and the more computing the processor (such as the console or PC) is required. Therefore, a tree that is 100 yards from the player may not load the detailed bark texture until the player enters the 20 yards, and then the larger details are still loaded in a distance of 5 yards. The goal of a company like Simplygon is to ensure that this experience is always optimized, and players will never know (for example, the loading of 20 yards may increase the details that can only be seen within 10 yards).

    but with Nanite, the Unreal Engine will now automatically process LOD scaling, and it is free. The game developers only need to enter the highest resolution texture, and the illusion engine will come up with when and how to use it. This means that Simplygon has no value for illusory engine users. And more and more game developers are using illusions, which means that the number of companies in the market will become less and less, although the industry itself is growing rapidly.

    This is a macro -level transformation, not EPIC unique. Ten years ago, the annual game developer conference held in San Francisco was the world’s largest industry gathering. Most of them were middleware exhibitors, providing solutions such as lighting, physics, audio and other game design components. The exhibition hall in 2019 is led by EPIC, Unity, Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Many of the content provided by dozens of independent technical suppliers have been absorbed into the engine, or are now linked to infrastructure such as AWS or Azure.

    It’s different cases of EPIC cases are that these services are not provided as an additional payment function for its existing business. They are provided free of charge. Therefore, these measures are eliminated for the value of the segment industry to give it to developers. Just like the difference between a game shop with 30 % and 12 % of the current water.

    of course, we have reason to doubt the strategy of EPIC. The decline in each new service and cost will expand the influence of EPIC on the future technical path, and to a certain extent determine which companies can exist and which parts cannot exist. Profit, how much profit generates.

    . However, this view is difficult to match the macro environment of the gaming industry. Today, the industry generates about $ 120 billion in revenue each year (excluding hardware sales). Even if each game uses an illusory engine, from the cloned version to the surrounding Blizzard to every game of Nintendo -EPIC only generates $ 6 billion in revenue.

    If each unreal engine -based game is sold by EPIC Games Store, this will affect the stores of Apple, Sony and other companies. $ 15 billion, accounting for 12%of the industry). Remember, EPIC will not be “two -pronged” on store costs and engine services. More importantly, not all these income are increasing. Unreal is already the second largest and most widespread engine.

    Please also note that Sweeney also said that as “the founder and controlling shareholder of EPIC”, he “never allows” EPIC “to share user data with any other company … We [No] share data, sell data, or visit user data for advertising like many other companies. “So there is no secret source of income.

    can be said to be more cunning. In the famous antitrust case against Microsoft, the Ministry of Justice found that the company had an internal strategy called “embrace, expansion and elimination”. Specifically, this involves the standards within the deployment industry of Microsoft. These standards will tend to Microsoft -related products in the future, and eventually it is not conducive to competitive products. But if this is the actual goal of EPIC, then the company’s pricing to zero these businesses is meaningless. It is better to just reduce prices and provide better products.

    So how to explain the strategy of EPIC? What is the purpose of EPIC game flywheel? Why does EPIC cost billions of dollars to launch new businesses to eliminate or reduce all the value of this category without transferring the remaining value to Epic’s own pocket?

    The answer should return to the game TAM (market size) $ 120 billion. Sweeney believes that the most important part of the game/entertainment ecosystem is the content creator. Correspondingly, it is easier for developers to make games and profit, and transfer more industry profits from stores and infrastructure providers to these developers, breaking the closed platforms such as Microsoft, Sony, Valve, Windows, Steam and other closed platforms The entire ecosystem will benefit.

    In other words, Sweeney’s goal is not “hug, extension and elimination”, or even to promote the profit share of EPIC’s game. Instead, it is necessary to promote the development of the industry.

    “EPIC’s advantage is our operational game. We have one of the world’s largest games: Fortress Night, so we get more friends of fortress nights. We can also really help [improve ] This industry, as a group of companies, cooperate together to cooperate to contact users, instead of fighting each other. The worst vocabulary invented in the Internet history is to have customers. Customers have themselves! Sorry, please read the “Charter”. The purpose of helping all game developers can do this in our way on the night of the fortress. ” Most companies can benefit from the growth of the industry, but they rarely use direct income to exchange for this growth. Especially when their business can get up to 7-12%of the value.

    . This requires us to understand how much Tam can grow in this industry. Because Sweeney thinks there are trillions.

    IC how to reshape the future

    In Sweeney’s most firm belief, he believes in “Metaverse” and how to operate.

    “Yuan World” is a complex concept, which is not suitable for simple explanations. However, the core thoughts are grasped in books such as “Number Player” or “Snow Crash”. “Yuan World” is similar to the Internet. Everyone and every company can exist, work, social, trade, and created here. This concept is crucial and has unprecedented interoperability between experience. Today, the digital world is basically like a shopping mall. Each store uses its own currency, requires a proprietary ID card, has a proprietary measurement unit for shoes or calories, as well as different dressing specifications. Instead, “Yuan World” will involve a large number of standardization, interconnection and collaboration between all companies and institutions.

    The also need to emphasize that “Yuan World” is not a “game” (such as larger, more real Minecraft), nor hardware (VR), nor a “digital economy with a digital economy Broadly virtual world “(such as second life). This is like “World of Warcraft”, Google or iPhone, which belongs to the Internet. They are the digital world, services, websites, equipment, etc. On the other hand, the Internet is a wide range of agreements, technology, channels, and languages. Each agreement, technology, channels and languages ​​are important because they are based on them. This is the same.

    It is like each company created a web page decades ago, and then at some time, each company created the Facebook page. I think we are approaching such a point, that is, each company They will have a real -time live 3D existence through cooperation with game companies, or games such as Fortress Night, Minecraft and ROBLOX … now it has begun to happen. This will be a bigger thing than these generations before. This is not only a gospel for game developers, but also the beginning of the barrier between the platform and the game between the platform and the game. “——Tim Sweeney

    Sweeney’s judgment is correct,” Yuan World “will generate a trillion -dollar value. We will see that our economic and labor market will change,” real world “” It will be fundamentally integrated into the digital world, and countless new digital services and products will be created. In turn, this means that countless new companies will be created to manage online identity, data, transaction processing, security, and so on.

    The most important thing is that “Yuan World” will not have a clear time point for “opening” or “real”, but will slowly and constantly appear in the next decades in the next decades. . So far, there are many, many huge technical problems that need to be resolved. For example, consider the concert of the fortress. Although 12 million players participated in the TRAVIS Scott concert live broadcast of the fortress night, they It is carried out in the form of a personal group that does not exceed 50 people. This means that in fact, it is not a concert of 12 million people, but more than 250,000 concerts occur roughly at the same time, up to 50 people. It is still far from the space of 1,000 people in the same sharing, live broadcast, and synchronization space, let alone millions.

    In addition to the challenges of pure calculation, most of them are now closed today. Platform (such as Amazon, Google, Facebook) is also difficult to accept interoperability and data sharing. Although such a move is likely to benefit consumers and the economy as a whole, it will seriously hurt the competitive moat of each platform.

    “… In the entire industry, no company can solve all these problems alone. This requires everyone to work together to really reach the state we need on the efforts of each other. I am very happy to see this. No matter what form of this medium, our biggest hope is that we can play a role in it, no matter whether we are the creator of this big event, its technical supplier, or even better, if it is a one The decentralized distributed system combines everyone’s efforts and connects in a more open way. “-Tim Sweeney

    For the above reasons, no company will have” Yuan World “. Just as no company is” the Internet. In fact, “Yuan World” is an interconnected digital world. The premise means that Unity, the main competitor of EPIC, must also play a basic role.

    At the same time, EPIC has unique advantages in creating the “Yuan World”.

    Today It operates one of the two engines with the most widely deployed and most technical capabilities behind the virtual world of games, movies and TV. In addition, the illusion engine is rapidly expanding to new virtual use cases, from concert to theme parks, from architecture To design. This not only allows EPIC to have a unique influence on future standards and pipelines, but also makes the future “world” and “experience” easier to achieve interconnection. Promoting, it will help provide the motivation for online services for more virtual worlds and experiences (that is, including those non -illusions -based virtual worlds and experiences), and also provide a shared account system (EPIC ID).
    r At the same time, the EPIC game store helps distributes virtual experience and manages their visit. The Fortress Night not only allows everyone to become content creators more easily, but also helps to use irrelevant platforms and IPs in the past. Combined to accelerate our transformation to online and virtual life. The growing role of EPIC in the field of game distribution will also help create this interconnection. Yuan Shi “Ambition is crucial to the ambitions of Minecraft or Roblox. Minecraft and ROBLOX provides free online services, shared account systems, huge user groups, shops, and can easily integrate all kinds of Experience high -energy engine, however, all these experiences must occur inside Minecraft or Roblox.

    At the same time, EPIC will be within the night of the fortress, but most of them are outside the fortress night. Provide power or enable countless experiences. In the latter case, partners have the ability to use the elements in the EPIC software package they choose to use, or mix them with EPIC competitors. Not all the worlds in the world. It can be run in ROBLOX, but most of them can run or touch some parts of EPIC on EPIC.

    Although Sweeney is excited Who will lead the “Yuan World”. According to the many chapters above, Sweeney is the severe critics of all closed ecosystems and platforms, from Android (“a false open system”) to Apple (“even worse”). These platforms accept content creators The rate of fees is usury and anti -competition, and they kill innovation. Similarly, he believes that advertising services such as Facebook exploit consumers’ data and rights and harm society.

    “Yuan World” is not only an opportunity to improve today’s Internet, but also an opportunity to worsen it. For example, imagine that if the Internet is not designed by non -profit organizations and technical experts, it has been designed as a sales advertisement or collecting user data from the beginning to obtain profits.

    “When we establish these platforms to the” Yuan World “, if these platforms are locked and controlled by these proprietary companies, they have The power of interaction will be far beyond any platform in the past, “Sweeney said in May 2017. Two months later, he claimed: “This is an increasingly larger issue. Google and Facebook have the power to have power. President Eisenhower said that about military industrial complexes, they have a serious threat to our democracy.”

    , that is, Sweeney hopes to produce more than just a developer to make games easier or more profitable, but a world of technology that continues to become a good power.

    (Translator: Tike Wei)

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