Epic Games will never become a video games publisher, European territory manager Mike Gamble told Eurogamer at the Unreal University event in London today.

Given the studio's line-up of internal titles - Gears of War, Bulletstorm, Unreal Tournament and Infinity Blade - plus the close relationships formed with developers utilising the Unreal Engine, one would assume a move into publishing to be a natural progression. Not so, says Gamble.

"We're never going to be a publisher, which in some respects you would think is the natural next step for somebody like ourselves, who have become so large and have touched so many developers," explained Gamble.

He added: "We could say, now we're a publisher, all of your stuff you make through Unreal comes through us. But that's a slippery, horrible slope."

Senior level designer Alan Willard chipped in: "We don't want that responsibility. That's a massive administration overhead we just don't want to take on."

Willard says Epic is "very happy to help our partners with technology and advice and with their development. But we don't want to be responsible for them making money and their products making it to market".

The designer was also keen to stress that despite Epic's huge presence in the engine business, game development remains at the heart of the studio.

"[Game development is] the core. It all spins off of us making our games," he said. "Everybody at Epic works on the game titles you see that we ship. But then we're also all involved in planning the next feature set for the engine, we're involved in planning the next game we're going to work on. There's a lot of internal involvement in all of the businesses we touch."

Epic is currently putting the finishing touches to Gears of War 3, set for release on September 20.