Last night the rumor mill was given a rather hefty spin when speculation hit the internets that Microsoft will be buying Epic Games (the fellas behind Gears of War and Unreal Tournament) for a cool $1 billion by Summer's end. And even though Epic Games hasn't officially responded to the rumor, Epic VP Mark Rein has never been one to back down from discussing rumors.

In an email response to Develop Mag, Mark Rein addresses and actually makes light of the buyout rumor, saying "I have not seen the actual GamePro article but if they're going to make predictions about us selling Epic we would prefer if they started at $2 billion." Hmm, $2 billion. Why $2 billion Mr. Rein? "Because we don't want anyone thinking that we're cheap. :)" Ahh, we get it. Har, har! And nice use of an emoticon. Classic stuff.

So, even though Mr. Rein responded to the MS buyout rumor, we don't really get any new insight to whether it's legit or total bologna. Because Rein cranked up the charm and joked around. Darnit Mark, this is serious stuff and all you do is laugh it off. We need answers and all give us is the fact that you think your company is worth $2 billion and inject smiley emoticons all over the place. The nerve of it all!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.