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Epic Games to expand campus in Cary, making room for up to 2,000 employees

After years of growth from its industry-changing hit “Fortnite,” video game maker Epic Games is expanding its headquarters campus off Crossroads Boulevard in Cary.

The company announced the expansion on Thursday and said construction on the new building could start in 2020 — potentially making room for thousands of employees in Cary.

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The inside of Cary-based Epic Games’ headquarters, where characters from its video games have statues located in the cafeteria. Courtesy of Epic Games

Epic has been preparing for this growth for several years, having bought the 8.2-acre property at the corner of Crossroads Boulevard and Jones Franklin Road in 2015. The land is next to its existing campus.

The new building will add significantly to the company’s real estate holdings in Cary, giving it room for an estimated 1,750 to 2,000 more employees there, the company said.

Epic didn’t give a definite size for the new addition yet, saying it could be between 450,000 to 500,000 square feet. It will also give Epic 1,400 additional parking spaces.

Development of the new facility is expected to take three to four years, Epic said.

Epic declined to comment about the expansion beyond a release it sent to The News & Observer.

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Epic Games has a low-key corporate campus located off Crossroads Boulevard in Cary, N.C. Courtesy of Epic Games

The video game maker has more than 1,000 employees worldwide, including hundreds in Cary. It has more than 100 hundred open positions for its Cary campus listed on its website. The company also has a significant presence in California, a state that has a large presence of other video game companies.

Founded in 1991, Epic Games made a name for itself with games such as “Gears of War” and “Shadow Complex.” But it leaped into another stratosphere when it released “Fortnite,” a battle royale-style game that has become one of the most popular titles on the market.

The game has attracted hundreds of millions of players and became a social phenomenon for teenagers.

Last year, the company raised a staggering $1.25 billion from investors off the back of the growth of “Fortnite” and its game engine called Unreal. The company’s backers include Chinese tech giant Tencent as well as Disney.

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Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games in Cary

That funding round valued the company at $15 billion, which made it the most valuable startup in North Carolina, according to CB Insights.

The company has used that influx of cash in a variety of ways, including buying the social media company Houseparty earlier this year.

For the new addition to its campus, Epic said it is working with workspace consultant Foster + Partners, architects JDavis, and JLL for construction project management.

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Epic Games’ current campus has a rock-climbing wall in its cafeteria. Courtesy of Epic Games

Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht lauded Epic’s growth in Western Wake County.

“We know that Epic could locate anywhere in the world, and we’re grateful that they’ve chosen to continue to call Cary home,” he said in a statement.

This story was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work. Learn more; go to bit.ly/newsinnovate

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Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He covers technology, startups and main street businesses, biotechnology, and education issues related to those areas.
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