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TGS: Epic Games To Open Tokyo Office

Epic Games president Mike Capps has announced a Japanese office for the company during a Gamasutra-attended Tokyo Game Show speech -- to focus on Unreal Engine support, but with game creation possible in the long-term.
Epic Games president Mike Capps has announced the founding of a Tokyo office for the game and engine developer, which will concentrate on local sales and support of its Unreal Engine technology and may branch into game development at a later time. Capps delivered a Gamasutra-attended speech on the second day of Tokyo Game Show which concentrated on Gears Of War' creation at Epic Games and the company's process. But he also used the speech as a chance to reveal that the North Carolina-based company is adding a Japanese office, soliciting applications and commenting: "We're opening a new Tokyo office soon for engine support and technology and then we'll see what else we can do with it." When asked during the Q&A session following the presentation what roles the company would be staffing at its office, Capps said, "In our Tokyo office, I think the first step will be sales for the engine. We know that it's important to have someone who speaks excellent Japanese to be involved in the process. Also support technicians who speak both English and Japanese." Capps noted that while Western developers are happy to evaluate the engine, then decide to license it, and then email in questions, "the expectations of Japanese and Koreans for engine support are very different." Epic already has a Seoul-based office to handle support for that market. Capps spoke of the company's relationship with Square Enix, who used the engine to develop its 2009 game The Last Remnant. Square Enix embedded its developers in Epic's Raleigh offices for weeks at a time to learn process; Epic's developers also traveled to Tokyo for support. However, said Capps, Epic's engine team's small size makes it "difficult for us to send people to studios, so our idea is to send people from within Japan." Capps also teased that he may want to add to the strength of the company's development studios. Said Capps, "I think Japan has the strongest game development in the world, so I have secret plans to hopefully hire some game developers too."

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