Epic Games acquires Edinburgh-based GTA co-creator’s Cloudgine

CloudgineEpic Games is acquiring Cloudgine, the Scottish game and cloud technology studio co-founded by Grand Theft Auto (GTA) co-creator David Jones. Epic said in a statement it was “thrilled to welcome Cloudgine in joining the company as a wholly owned subsidiary”.

Founded in 2012, Cloudgine delivers massive computing power to real-time, interactive content, from games to virtual reality  and enterprise applications. It is also the creator of They Came From Space.

Epic’s statement added: “Since its inception, Cloudgine’s research and development has been based on Epic’s Unreal Engine 4. Cloudgine’s cloud computing and online technologies will enhance the UE4 feature set to help developers push the creative and technical limits of games, film, animation and visualisation through advances in physics simulation and networking.

“As a reminder, Epic is hiring! We are recruiting for Cloudgine’s office in Edinburgh, where the team will grow and develop leading-edge technology, as well as the other Epic Games UK locations in Guildford, Newcastle and Leamington Spa. We encourage anyone who is interested in learning more to visit epicgames.com/careers.”

Cloudgine has been focused on cloud technology since its founding in 2012. It lent its expertise to Microsoft for Crackdown 3, and created the free Toy Box demo experience for Oculus Rift.

In September 2017, Jones told Gamesindustry.biz that his company’s application cloud gaming, which he described as “cloud compute’, could reshape the industry.

“It’s always hard to talk about these things without going out and building them yourself to demonstrate what you mean,” Jones said.

“So we’ve been on a mission with that to put together examples of, ‘Once we’ve got compute, what are the things we can do from a creative and technical standpoint to start to showcase and highlight some of the opportunities available with it?’ I think it needed a couple of catalysts, and there are a few companies starting to work in that area. We’re one of them.”

They Came From Space is a demonstration of ‘cloud compute’; a team-based multiplayer action game where players can either don a VR headset to play as a titanic, city-destroying alien invader, or skip the VR to control one of the alien’s drone fighters in an effort to claim the planet over a rival alien squad.

Subsequent titles of GTA were created by brothers Dan and Sam Houser, Leslie Benzies and Aaron Garbut.