Dr. Michael Capps is the president of Epic Games, Inc. based in Cary, NC. Epic is the creator of the mega-hit “Unreal” game series and the billion-dollar “Gears of War” franchise, which has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide and won more than 50 game of the year awards. Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 is the seven-time winner of Game Developer magazine’s Front Line Award and it has won four consecutive Develop Industry Excellence Awards. Under Michael’s leadership, Epic has been recognized as Spike TV’s 2006 Studio of the Year, Official Xbox Magazine’s 2006 Developer of the Year, the North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA) 2007 Large Company of the Year and the NCTA 2008 Top Industry Driven Technology Company of the Year. In 2009, Michael was named NCTA’s Technology Executive of the Year, the organization’s first people’s choice award, and in 2010, Epic was named NCTA’s Private Company of the Year. In addition, Game Developer magazine placed Michael in its Game Developer 50, which recognizes significant contributors to the game industry.
Michael serves on the board of directors for two major industry organizations: the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which supports the needs of game publishers; and the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS), which is charged with recognition of outstanding achievement in the entertainment software community. Michael is also an advisory board member of the Game Developers Conference (GDC), the industry’s foremost convention for game developers, and he recently joined Governor Beverly Perdue’s North Carolina Innovation Council. In addition, Michael serves as a member of Change the Equation, a non-profit, non-partisan CEO-led initiative to drive innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Michael is a former board director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), the world’s largest nonprofit membership organization for game developers.
Prior to entering the game industry, Michael served as a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., where he specialized in defense and entertainment collaboration, virtual reality and computer graphics. For his work in these areas, he was one of 50 graphics pioneers interviewed for the ACM SIGGRAPH documentary, "The Story of Computer Graphics."
While at the Naval Postgraduate School, Michael was the producer, designer and lead programmer of the “America’s Army” computer game. Sponsored by the U.S. Army, “America’s Army” is an online, downloadable, PC-based game that provides a portal into the Army, from basic training to Special Forces missions, to more than nine million registered users.
A departmental honoree in mathematics and creative writing, Michael graduated summa cum laude from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds master’s degrees in computer science and electrical engineering from UNC-Chapel Hill and MIT, and a doctorate in computer science from the Naval Postgraduate School.