Tim Sweeney (game developer)

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Tim Sweeney
GDC 2016 TXT8604 Tim Sweeney (25730674112) (cropped2).jpg
Sweeney presenting at the 2016 Game Developers Conference
Born December 1970 (age 47)
Potomac, Maryland, United States
Occupation Video game programmer and developer
Known for Founding Epic Games
Awards AIAS Hall of Fame Award (2012)[1]

Timothy D. "Tim" Sweeney (born December 1970)[2] is an American computer game programmer and the founder of Epic Games, being best known for his work on ZZT and the Unreal Engine.

Having been programming games since an early age, Sweeney established Epic as a shareware company while he was a student majoring in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland.[2] Epic got its start when Sweeney created ZZT, the company's first game, released as a shareware in 1991.[2] In interviews Sweeney has credited that game's success with fueling the early growth of his company.[3] Sweeney later worked on Epic's Unreal Engine, used in the Unreal series of first-person shooters and multiple other video games.[4][5]

In 2005, Sweeney attended Wake Tech Community College Digital Game Xpo as a guest speaker. He showed a demo of the Unreal Engine and talked about 3D Buzz's book "Mastering Unreal Technology: The Art of Level Design".[6] Wired magazine awarded him a Rave Award in 2007 for his work on Unreal Engine 3.[7]

On February 9, 2012, Sweeney was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) Hall of Fame.[8]

Sweeney received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Game Developers Choice Awards.[9]


  1. ^ "D.I.C.E Special Awards". Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 22, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Edwards, Benj (May 25, 2009). "Features - From The Past To The Future: Tim Sweeney Talks". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on August 9, 2017. Retrieved August 9, 2017. 
  3. ^ Totilo, Stephen (July 12, 2011). "The Quiet Tinkerer Who Makes Games Beautiful Finally Gets His Due". Kotaku. Archived from the original on September 6, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2014. 
  4. ^ DeMaria, Rusel; Wilson, Johnny L. (2003). High score!: the illustrated history of electronic games. Computer Games. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 300. ISBN 0-07-223172-6. 
  5. ^ "Twilight of the GPU: an epic interview with Tim Sweeney". Arstechnica.com. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Epic Games to Demo Unreal Engine 3 at Digital Game Expo in June". Prweb.com. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  7. ^ Wired (April 24, 2007). "The 2007 Rave Awards". Wired. Archived from the original on August 24, 2017. Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  8. ^ Epic Games (December 7, 2011). "Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Inducts Epic Games' Tim Sweeney to Its Hall of Fame". Epic Games. Archived from the original on September 5, 2014. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  9. ^ Takahasi, Dean (January 20, 2017). "Epic Games' Tim Sweeney to receive lifetime achievement award at GDC". Venture Beat. Archived from the original on January 26, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2017. 

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