Tim Sweeney's influence has made its indelible mark on computer and video games, and his technical prowess continues to advance many of today's highly successful PC, console and mobile games. Sweeney founded Epic Games in 1991, the same year he released ZZT, a pioneering game of the early shareware and mod scene that shipped with a built-in game editor and scripting language. In addition to releasing popular games like Jill of the Jungle and Epic Pinball in the early 1990s, Sweeney wrote the Unreal Engine, an integrated toolset that became available to the community in 1998 upon the release of the first Unreal computer game. The rise of the multimillion-selling Unreal game series shared momentum with the early engine middleware business, putting Epic's signature fast and furious shooter gameplay and cutting-edge game engine technology into the hands of hardcore gamers and game developers alike. From 2005 to 2006, Sweeney ushered in a new era for both audiences once again with Epic's release of Gears of War and Unreal Engine 3. Epic's blockbuster Gears of War series has won more than 50 game of the year awards, resulting in a combined 230 awards and nominations, and it has sold more than 13 million copies. Unreal Engine 3 has won the Best Engine Front Line Award every year since 2004 with the exception of 2008, when it was inducted into the Hall of Fame. It has won the Develop Industry Excellence Award in its category for the past four years as well. Sweeney continues to serve as Epic's chief executive officer and technical director, with his efforts focused on developing Unreal Engine 4 and leading the independent developer to future success.