Less than two years ago, People Can Fly rebranded itself as Epic Games Poland and put their noses to the grindstone on Fortnite. They’ve been owned by Epic since 2007, and mostly did port work and helped with Gears games outside of a little thing called Bulletstorm. Now, with work on Fortnite winding down, the studio has broken official ties with Epic Games and reformed as an independent studio, reclaiming their name and keeping the Bulletstorm IP.
Epic Games chief Tim Sweeney stated that he was “honored to work with this brilliant group of programmers, artist and designers throughout their history.” The studio will continue to collaborate with Epic on Fortnite, but work has also begun on a new project using the Unreal Engine. Several studios, including The Astronauts and Flying Wild Hog, had formed in the fallout of Epic acquiring the former makers of Painkiller, so it will be interesting to see if there is any collaboration between those entities.
It will also be interesting to see what is done with the Bulletstorm franchise. The first game was set up for a sequel, and prep work was done for that game before its cancellation. The first game is currently still running the dead GFWL DRM on Steam, so an update to move that over to Steamworks might be in the cards. There is also the very real possibility that the game would be approved for Xbox One backwards compatibility in the near future. In any case, I’m eager to see if there is still enough of that studio left over from the Painkiller days to reclaim that FPS magic. Bulletstorm was great, but Painkiller is one of the best “DOOM-clones” out there, and the world always needs more fast paced FPS games and less Gears of War: Judgment.