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What if... Apple bought Epic?

Future history: The fictional world of games is about to change. Big time.

If truth is stranger than fiction, then guesswork is a swirling, multi-headed, fire-breathing beast of intrigue.

In the first of a new series of 'What if...?' features, CVG ponders what could happen to the video games business over the next few years in the face of market-trading manoeuvres, via a series of fictional future news stories.

Expect the far-fetched, of course - but also the occasional "OMG, that could actually happen!" moment. (All within the confines, our legal eagles would like us to remind you, of this being entirely fictional and not being grounded in reality whatsoever).

To kick off, we mull over the eye-widening (and, remember, f-i-c-t-i-o-n-a-l) prospect of megabucks Apple making a swoop for their old mucker, Epic Games...

Apple snaps up Epic Games
Tuesday 15-Nov-2011 22:29 GMT Jobs "delighted" by swoop; Rein says iPad can become "best games console in the world"

Apple's intentions in the video games space have exploded into the stratosphere, with a wholesale buyout of Gears Of War maker Epic Games.

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The pair have grown increasingly close in recent years, with Epic's Infinity Blade becoming a flagship product for iOS's gaming capabilities and a centrepiece of Apple's global iPad and iPad 2 advertising.

No figure was given by either party for the deal, but analysts believe the acquisition could have cost Apple over $500m, and includes Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly and Infinity Blade creator cHair. Apple is thought to have over $50 billion available to spend on acquisition targets.

Steve Jobs is said to be "delighted" with the swoop, which he personally sees as the first major blow to competitors Microsoft and Sony in the so-called 'hardcore' video games space.

Epic VP Mark Rein said in a statement: "We've long been fans and supporters of Apple's technology and are delighted to make our relationship official in this way. We truly believe in iPad as a gaming platform and are hugely excited for what the future will bring."

Apple has made its intentions in the games market very clear in the last few years, publicly challenging Nintendo and Sony for market share. Meanwhile, Epic VP Rein last year declared iPad the "console of the future". At Game Developers Conference in March this year, Epic showed off its "next-generation" Unreal Engine DX11 in the same week that iPad 2 was unveiled.

When asked at the time about getting the engine on future home consoles, Rein said: "If the next game consoles can't do this, well, Apple increased [the graphics processing power of] their iPad by nine times today."

Apple unveils iPad 3, as Epic reveals Infinity Blade 2
Thursday 1-Mar-2012 20:29 GMT"Plenty more to come", teases platform holder

Just like in 2011, Apple pitched its spring San Francisco summit across from the Game Developers Conference today. And just like in 2011, it unveiled a brand new iPad.

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But this year in California, there was a twist. Epic Games, long-term darlings of the GDC circuit, elected to unveil its newest game at Apple's showcase - Infinity Blade 2.

As has been recently rumoured, iPad 3 will feature a 2048-x-1536 resolution, 3G as standard and a built-in SD reader - as well as longer battery life and a bigger screen. The tablets GPU runs twice as fast as iPad 2's, claims Apple.

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