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“Until the Dance & Skin Sales Improve, the Firings Will Continue”: We Interviewed Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney

Epic Games, creators of smash hit Fortnite, as well as the controversial Epic Games Store, recently caused headlines by being the latest gaming giant to announce layoffs and terminations among its large staff. We spoke to Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney about the decision. 

Having laid off 20 percent of your workforce, what’s next for Epic Games?

We’re having our annual ‘CEO Winter Excursion’ where we meet up at a resort in Alaska and throw wads of cash at each other like they’re snowballs.

What were your thoughts on the recent Unity pricing changes?

Rotten timing. It was fun being the good guy while it lasted!

How can you justify getting rid of so many workers based on fiscal information you admitted you’d received just ten weeks earlier? 

Oh, that’s plenty of time. That’s like five fortnites! Not to be confused with Fortnite, our wildly popular game that grosses billions of dollars each year. 

You’ve laid off hundreds of workers responsible for your gaming success, and are now focusing on building a metaverse, despite the unwavering rejection of metaverses by the public. What inspires you to remain so true to your vision, as ill-suited for the current moment as it may be?

I pay several people very well to call me and text me throughout the day to tell me how smart I am. Honestly, those guys are right, too.

Do you have any messages for the employees that have been laid off recently?

I’m sorry that Fortnite didn’t prove popular enough to keep everybody on. Oh well. You live and learn in this business. 

What have your friends and family made of your recent decisions?

I’m sorry, my who and what? You said some really bizarre words in the middle of that question.

You own a bunch of land in North Carolina. What do you do there?

It’s ironically a bit like Fortnite when you think about it. I explore, I work on projects, and I shoot at anybody that I see.

Do you think you might be spending too much in legal fees in a case against Apple?

Of course not. I’ve started seeing that damn App Store logo in my nightmares. 

You said in your press release that you weren’t making as much money as you were spending, and that’s why 870 people lost their jobs. Did Fortnite really make six billion dollars last year?

Whoa, don’t change the subject like that!

I guess what I was getting at is shouldn’t the company behind the most popular video game of its time be able to keep a staff onboard without sudden layoffs?

Look, there’s a lot of overhead with a game and a company like this. A lot of mouths to feed. A lot more land to buy with my bonuses. It’s all very complicated.

Do you think you’ll be able to bring back any or all of the 870 employees that were just let go?

We’re hopeful that if we turn a corner and Fortnite starts making 11 figures a year, we might be able to pull it off. Otherwise, there’s just not room in the budget, I’m afraid.

So the low billions aren’t enough?

Oh, it’s good, don’t get me wrong. But hear me out, it could be more? I told everyone I wanted them to double the amount of skins we sold last year, and nobody listened! I’m afraid whatever we put out in the store this year just wasn’t enough. Until the dance and skin sales improve, the firings will continue, I’m afraid.

In your estimation, what should developers do when they can’t expect long term employment even at the most successful companies like Naughty Dog, Bioware, and Epic?

Um. I don’t know. Call Nintendo?

Do you think you and other CEO’s insistence on metaverses are hurting the lives of a lot of workers and their families?

Sure, I mean it’s possible. But if you can think of a better way to watch some shitty EDM concert on your PlayStation, I’m all ears, pal.

Hey, did you ever notice that the people who are the most insistent on us all hanging out in some new virtual reality are often the ones who are most out of touch with reality itself? Rich people that haven’t achieved happiness despite their success in the business world and whatnot. Did you ever consider that some people are having a better time in reality than you are?

No, I had not noticed that and I have not considered that. Um, I’m not sure where to go from here. You’ve got me all figured out, I’m afraid. Hey, can I fire you from this interview?

No, not really. I guess you could leave the room?

Okay. I am going to leave the room now.

Author’s note: Tim Sweeney left the room at this point.

Editor’s note: Yeah, I think they got that.

Author’s note: Okay, well excuse me.

Editor’s note: Don’t do this here, Ron. DM me or something.

Author’s note: Don’t do what?

Editor’s note: DM ME NOW!!@