The richest person in North Carolina

Luay Rahil
Photo byCanva

The ugly truth is Apple has a monopoly over iOS apps, and Epic Games owner doesn't like it.

However, not every company in the world has the resources or the courage to fight Apple in federal courts. Epic Games has both the courage and the resources. They believe Apple should take a smaller percentage of all the transactions through the Apple store.

More than 30 states and multibillion-dollar companies such as Microsoft are siding with Epic Games and claiming that Apple's practices violate antitrust laws.

Epic Games founder, Tim Sweeney, didn't become a billionaire by accident. Instead, he has the vision and determination to go after what he wants. This approach made him $7.6 billion, making him the second richest person in North Carolina and the 51st in the country.

Who is Tim Sweeney?

Timothy Sweeney is an American video game programmer and business executive who founded Epic Games.

In 1970, Tim Sweeney was born in Maryland. His parents discovered Tim loves to tinker with mechanical and electronic devices. So at age five or six, he took a lawnmower apart and built his own go-kart.

He says, "I was always interested in technical things, building go-karts out of engines, boards, and whatever pieces I could find."

By the time he reached the age of 10, he had become interested in arcade games and used his curiosity to figure out how to program them.

He taught himself how to program computers.

At 11, Sweeney visited his brother in California, who exposed him to IBM computers and helped him learn some programming skills. His parents bought an Apple II a few years later, which changed Sweeney's life. He spent countless hours teaching himself how to program using the information on online bulletin boards.

During college, his father gifted him a computer that Sweeney used to start his own consulting business, Potomac Computer Systems, which failed quickly. In 1993, he graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering.

He created Epic Games in 1991.

In 1991, He renamed Potomac Computer Systems Epic MegaGames and developed a video game called ZZT that he could sell for a profit. To help evaluate the game, he asked his friends to give him quick feedback, and some recruited some of them to help him form his first programming team.

Sweeney says, "ZZT was sort of prototype Unreal Engine 0, an engine with integrated development tools - but without any of the complications of 3D or even graphics!"

Epic Games developed Fornite, a dominant game in the industry.

Today, the company has more than 40 offices globally and is one of the most dominant interactive entertainment companies worldwide. For example, there are more than 400 million registered accounts worldwide and over 5 billion friend connections across Fortnite, Fall Guys, Rocket League, and the Epic Games Store.

According to Forbes, Epic generated $5.1 billion in revenue in 2020 and raised $1 billion in the 2021 funding round, raising the company value to $28.7 billion.

Sweeney is a powerful backer of environmental causes.

Sweeney has used his wealth to buy large tracts of land in North Carolina for conservation, becoming one of the largest private landowners in the state.

He likes to protect a large, unfragmented, undeveloped land in North Carolina. He doesn't want to get involved in politics but to use his wealth to save green spaces and help young computer developers learn how to develop games.

According to Inside Philanthropy, Epic MegaGrants has committed $100 million to support game developers and others working with the Unreal Engine.

If you had Sweeney money, how would you spend it?

Comments / 17

Published by

Writing on leadership, business, and culture.

Fort Worth, TX

More from Luay Rahil

Comments / 0