The British Academy of Film and Television Arts presented Epic Games, the software developer behind the Unreal Engine and “Fortnite,” with a BAFTA Special Award Wednesday night at E3. The honor was presented at the London West Hollywood hotel.
“We are delighted to present this year’s Special Award to Epic Games,” Dr. Jo Twist, OBE, chair of BAFTA’s games committee, said. “Having powered the creativity and imaginations of development teams of all sizes over the years — many of whom have gone on to win BAFTAs — it’s right to mark their huge contribution with this Special Award as part of BAFTA’s commitment to celebrating and promoting the very best in games. Epic is at the forefront of the evolution of the global games industry and the impact of their innovation is undeniable.”
“It’s a great honor to be here as Epic’s spokesperson, especially for the work that we’ve done in the area of creativity in serving the needs of the film industry and game developers, and the work of hundreds of really world-class people all around the world,” Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said. “The team has worked so hard to make these things reality and create art and be recognized for it. I hope this is just the beginning of the quest. We’re trying to create a whole new world around digital entertainment, and I think we’re just at the beginning of it.”
Sweeney himself began writing the code for Epic Games’ Unreal Engine in 1995. Today, its current version, Unreal 4, is one of the most user-friendly and versatile developer toolsets ever made. Unreal’s been used to create games as diverse as “Batman: Arkham Asylum,” “BioShock,” “Fortnite Battle Royale,” “Friday the 13th: The Game,” “Gears of War,” “Life Is Strange,” “Mass Effect,” and “Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.”
In 2015, Epic made UE4 available to everyone for free.
The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 11 to 13. As is tradition, however, things kicked off early on Saturday at 12 p.m. ET with Electronic Arts’ EA Play event, which was held at the Hollywood Palladium on June 8 and 9. Microsoft had its big Xbox E3 2019 Briefing on Sunday, June 9, at 4 p.m. ET.
E3 2019 is coming to Los Angeles on June 11 through 13, and we’ll cover all the highlights of the event here at Variety as well.