Epic buys Psyonix – because bringing Fortnite and Rocket League together makes perfect sense

Epic Games today announced its intention to acquire Psyonix. With the move bringing Fortnite and Rocket League under one roof. This means the popular vehicular football game will be coming to the Epic Games Store “in late 2019” according to a Psyonix statement.

There’s no word yet on when, or whether, the title will stop being sold on Steam, though it will continue to be supported with updates from the service, while it will continue unaffected on console platforms.

It’s more than just another Epic move to bring exclusive content to its platform, though. With Rocket League making a brilliant stablemate for Fortnite. “We have great respect for how Psyonix has built an excellent team and an incredible community around Rocket League,” said Epic CEO Tim Sweeney.

The two, largely family friendly, competitive titles have a potentially massive crossover audience. Rocket League is a big game but it could become a lot bigger still if Epic can tempt, or incentivise, even a fraction of its Fortnite audience to give it a try.

While both teams incredible success in retaining, engaging and monetising their audiences should make for very valuable learnings in both directions. “The potential of what we can learn from each other and accomplish together makes us truly excited for the future,” said Dave Hagewood, founder and studio director of Psyonix.

Psyonix has also successfully nurtured an active esports scene around its game, something that Fortnite is in the fledgling stages of attempting. Though the radical differences between four-on-four car ball and the huge scale of Battle Royale may make any learnings in that area hard to pinpoint.

The move comes after a long association between the companies. Rocket League runs on Unreal Engine 3 for starters, and Psyonix founder Dave Hagewood previously worked on Unreal Tournament 2004 as a contractor – with the initial experiments which lead to Rocket League coming from racing the Unreal vehicles – while Pysonic contributed to Gears of War as well.

“We’ve been working closely with Epic since the early days of Unreal Tournament, and we’ve survived changing tides as partners, so combining forces makes sense in many ways,” Hagewood said.

“Psyonix has always been a part of the Epic family, and we’re happy to make it official,” said Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games.

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