Tim Sweeney (game developer)

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Tim Sweeney
Tim Sweeney at GDC 2016 (25730674112) (cropped).jpg
Sweeney presents at the 2016 Game Developers Conference
Born December 1970 (age 46)
Potomac, Maryland, United States
Occupation Video game programmer and developer
Known for developing the Unreal series of engines
Awards AIAS Hall of Fame Award (2012)[1]

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.

Sweeney established Epic as a shareware company while he was a student majoring in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland. He said that he had been interested in game development and computer programming since he was 10 years old,[3] and finally started making games out of his parents' basement where he lived.[4] Epic got its start when Sweeney created ZZT, the company's first game, released as a shareware in 1991. In interviews Sweeney has credited that game's success with fueling the early growth of his company.[5] Sweeney later worked on Epic's Unreal Engine, used in the Unreal series of first-person shooters and multiple other video games.[6][7]

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".[8]

On February 9, 2012, Sweeney was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) Hall of Fame for his technological innovations in the gaming industry.[9][10][11]

On July 10, 2013, Tim and the co-founder of Epic Games, Mark Rein, were named Development Legends at the Develop Industry Excellence Awards.[12][13][14]

Sweeney received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Game Developers Choice Awards.[15][16]


  1. ^ "D.I.C.E Special Awards". Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  2. ^ "Features - From The Past To The Future: Tim Sweeney Talks". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  3. ^ "Features - From The Past To The Future: Tim Sweeney Talks". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  4. ^ "Features - From The Past To The Future: Tim Sweeney Talks". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  5. ^ Totilo, Stephen (12 July 2011). "The Quiet Tinkerer Who Makes Games Beautiful Finally Gets His Due". Kotaku. Retrieved 2014-09-06. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "Tim Sweeney is the "co-founder of Epic Games and the brains behind every iteration of the widely licensed Unreal series of 3D game engines"". Arstechnica.com. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  8. ^ "Epic Games to Demo Unreal Engine 3 at Digital Game Expo in June". Prweb.com. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  9. ^ Epic Games (7 December 2011). "Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Inducts Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney to Its Hall of Fame". Epic Games. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  10. ^ Bradford, Matt (8 December 2011). "Epic founder Tim Sweeney named AIAS Hall of Famer". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  11. ^ "Tim Sweeney Inducted into AIAS Hall of Fame". A. James Clark School of Engineering. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  12. ^ Epic Games (23 June 2013). "Tim Sweeney and Mark Rein Named Development Legends at 2013 Develop Industry Excellence Awards". Epic Games. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  13. ^ Sarkar, Samit (27 June 2013). "Epic Games' Tim Sweeney, Mark Rein to receive Develop magazine's Development Legend awards". Polygon. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  14. ^ Freeman, Will (27 June 2013). "Epic's CEO and vice president set for recognition at 2013 Develop Industry Excellence Awards". Develop-Online. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  15. ^ Takahasi, Dean (January 20, 2017). "Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney to receive lifetime achievement award at GDC". Venture Beat. Retrieved January 20, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Tim Sweeney to be honored with Lifetime Achievement Award at GDC 2017". January 20, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Tim Sweeney at Wikimedia Commons