You may not have played Painkiller, but you should (seriously, it’s super cheap on Steam, yo). Despite being eight years old, it’s still an incredibly imaginative Doom clone in which you slaughter dozens of bizarre beasts in a jumble of weird levels, like haunted houses, military bases, and opera houses. It’s a product of eastern Europe’s quirk and it set Polish developer People Can Fly on the high road to success. But no longer.
Today Epic Games (y’know, those guys) announced they had fully acquired People Can Fly, presumably the remainder of the company they didn’t acquire in 2007, from the studio’s leads. The company is now working on Gears of War: Judgment for early next year, which is undoubtedly how you could create a Gears of War game in two years: by bringing in another studio. After Painkiller, Epic enjoyed PCF’s work so much they had the studio port the game to the PC and add an extra chapter. Then they did Bulletstorm, which was partially rubbish. Several vets left a few years ago to create recent Doom-esque shooter Hard Reset, which did well on its own… and that’s it.
But now that the studio is fully under Epic’s wings, is the quirk gone? Are they forever doomed to building Epic games instead of People Can Fly games? The former leads of PFC have taken their money and are going to create new games under a new banner with Epic’s support, but what of PFC? Is there anything left? Is it really just Epic Poland (which is a fantastic name, by the way).
I wouldn’t expect some crazy new property out of the PFC guys any time soon.