Epic VP Mark Rein has laughed off rumors that Microsoft is set to snap up the Gears of War developer in a $1 billion buyout.
"I have not seen the actual GamePro article but if they’re going to make predictions about us selling Epic we would prefer if they started at $2 billion," Rein jokingly told Develop, in response to an editorial that appeared in the US magazine claiming that Microsoft was readying to acquire Epic for $1 billion this summer. "Because we don’t want anyone thinking that we’re cheap," he added.
Gears of War has sold 4.5 million copies for Xbox 360, making it one of the system’s best selling titles and Epic an extremely valuable third party developer to Microsoft.
Speculation concerning an Epic buyout will no doubt continue as its Unreal Engine 3 has become the middleware of choice for this console generation, having been licensed for numerous high profile titles. The Unreal Engine Integrated Partners Program (IPP), which enables companies to integrate their tools and middleware into the Unreal Engine and therefore sell their products to Unreal Engine licensees, has also proven a great success.