Sony has bought a US$250 million stake in Epic Games. This amounts to a 1.4% minority interest in the Fortnite developer.
With the deal, Epic Games has now attained a valuation of US$17.86 billion after raising US$1.83 billion in new funding.
Through the investment, both companies are targeting collaborations that will capitalize on Sony’s portfolio of entertainment properties and technologies and Epic’s fast-growing “social entertainment platform and digital ecosystem.” The latter is a reference to the smash-hit Fortnite Battle Royale, which continues to evolve from more than just a popular FPS game, to a virtual stage for a variety of multimedia experiences.
“Sony and Epic have both built businesses at the intersection of creativity and technology, and we share a vision of real-time 3D social experiences leading to a convergence of gaming, film, and music,” said Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic games.
In April, for example, Fortnite became the main platform for rapper Travis Scott’s promotional concert for his latest record, Astronomical. The event was a huge hit, watched by 27.7 million unique players participating in five live events for a total of 45.8 million views.
With Fortnite serving as a proven commodity for popular live events, Sony may be seeing lucrative opportunities for its media subsidiaries such as Sony Pictures and Sony Music.
If you’re worried about no longer being able to play Fortnite on your Xbox, PC, or Nintendo Switch, you have no reason to fear. Epic has already confirmed with VentureBeat that they will continue to publish games for other platforms despite Sony’s investment.
It appears that Sony has greater interest in keeping closer ties with Epic for its impressive Unreal Engine 5, especially with the upcoming release of the PlayStation 5 and the impending next-gen console war.
“Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics places them at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations,” Sony Corporation Chairman, President, and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said, citing Fortnite as Epic’s premier achievement.
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