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Epic Games' Purchase Of Facial Animation Tech Startup Hyprsense Gives Rise To 'Fortnite' Speculations

Epic Games' Purchase Of Facial Animation Tech Startup Hyprsense Gives Rise To 'Fortnite' Speculations

Game developer Epic Games Inc has acquired California-based real-time facial animation technology company Hyprsense.

What Happened: Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri remarked that the acquisition will enable the game maker to explore further innovations in digital characters.

Although Epic’s plans for Hyprsense’s facial animation technology are still unclear, there are speculations that it could be initially deployed as a means of creative developer expression in an online social environment instead of treating it as an exclusive gaming feature.

The Verge suggests that the technology could “theoretically” be applied to Epic’s popular online game Fortnite – Party Royale, where a player's facial expressions could be put on an in-game character with the use of a webcam.

In March this year, Epic acquired the United Kingdom-based Cubic Motion Ltd, a digital animation technology company, for an undisclosed amount. Whereas in January 2019, Epic acquired Serbian technology company 3lateral.

3lateral’s technology solutions are used to create virtual characters across the gaming industry, movies, and TV shows.

Why Does It Matter: Epic Games has been engulfed in a controversy with Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) over skirting a 30% tax the latter levies on in-app purchases on its platforms. 

A U.S. District Court Judge dismissed the iPhone maker's tort claims against Epic, last week. The game developer and Apple and still engaged in a legal fisticuff over a breach of contract.

Epic’s online action game Fornite was removed from Apple play store and Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) Google Playstore after the former introduced an in-app alternative online payment system.

Both the tech giants claimed that the feature was an attempt to bypass the 30% fees levied by Apple and Google for all in-app transactions and violated their store policies.


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