If you want a sense of how much Epic has changed since the start of the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 hardware generation, go back and watch this documentary about the making of Gears of War.
Back then, the company was an impressive game developer making one of the most-anticipated games around. In 2019, Epic is a different - and much larger - beast, and this year's GDC was testament to this fact.
During its keynote event, the Unreal Engine and Fortnite maker unveiled the $100m MegaGrants funding initiative - a five-year programme to fund projects with "no strings attached," according to CEO Tim Sweeney, meaning Epic isn't interested in owning that IP. Furthermore, these games can be built on any tech and launch on any store - the MegaGrants scheme isn't limited to just Epic's Unreal Engine and storefront.
If that wasn't enough, the company revealed that it was rolling out a new Online Services platform designed to help developers launch, operate and scale their games entirely free of charge.
This is available right now. Again, this isn't limited to Unreal Engine projects - Epic's Online Services can be used to power games built on any tech, including rival Unity.
Challenged by PCGamesInsider.biz about this infrastructure being free right now - when Fortnite is making billions a month - and whether Epic would charge when that cash starts to dry up, Sweeney insisted that it would be free no matter what.
""It'll always be free. The cost is very reasonable. We're in a hits-based business with games," he said.
"We've gone through years at a time when we've funded the company entirely through revenue from our engine business, including the time when we were building Fortnite and Paragon in their early days. Fortnite is growing and has hit two new non-event peak record usage times since Apex Legends launched and went through its huge growth. We've seen no sign of it slowing down. We're capable of operating the company for decades more with or without a hit to the magnitude of Fortnite."