Epic: We're still the PC company

Former PC gaming big boy Epic could soon be returning to its roots, according to vice president and co-founder Mark Rein.

Speaking to gaming site Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Rein dismissed talk of Epic abandoning the PC in favour of consoles. "I think that's a myth that we've abandoned the PC," said Rein, adding "we've just been in this situation where our biggest franchise has been published by a console-holder, and was a very console designed-IP."

That biggest franchise would be tactical action romp Gears of War, which has been hugely successful on the Xbox 360. The first game was also released for the PC several months later, but its console-orientated controls and interface ended up alienating some PC gamers.

When Gears of War 2 came out in 2008, Epic said there wouldn't even be a PC version. According to Epic, the main reason for the shift towards consoles was piracy. In May, the developer's president Mike Capps said: "people are saying: 'why do you hate the PC? You're a console-only company'. It's because the money's on consoles."

"We still love the PC," said Capps, "but we already saw the impact of piracy: it killed a lot of great independent developers and completely changed our business model."

Rein says he saw the branching into console gaming as an "opportunity" that could enable Epic to move beyond just being "the PC company." However, he says that "now the opportunity is swinging back the other way, the opportunity to show that we're still the PC company."

According to Rein, there are plenty of PC-specific features in the Unreal Development Kit, and he notes that the forthcoming game Bulletstorm will be available on the PC, as well as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This, says Rein, "will be a full-blown, oh-my-god amazing PC game."

Of course, Epic is still continuing work on Gears of War 3 for just the Xbox 360, but Rein says that PC gamers shouldn't "confuse Gears of War with everything we do."