The growth of online gaming is extraordinary. In the Far East four million people subscribe to one game alone. In the US the two most popular online fantasy games have over 500,000 and 400,000 players respectively. And inevitably these huge virtual communities are having an impact on the real world, as players barter their powerful weapons, magic items, properties and even their long cherished characters themselves. One economist recently evaluated the entire real dollar activity of these virtual creations as being larger than the GNP of Bulgaria.
So the idea for Epic came about from wondering, what would it be like to live in a world entirely dominated by one game; where every human being had to log into the game and their wealth, their political voice, their future, was shaped by how well they were doing in the game? What would happen to those who became the games most powerful players, and thus the most wealth and powerful people in the world? Would they start to dominate the proceedings and protect themselves from challenges? And if you were born poor and had to make your way through the game from scratch, what chance would you have?