Sony Invests $US250m In Epic Games For ‘Further Collaboration’

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Sony Invests $US250m In Epic Games For ‘Further Collaboration’
Screenshot: Epic Games

Sony has purchased a $US250 ($359) million minority stake in Epic Games, makers of Unreal Engine and Fortnite, according to a joint announcement by both companies today.

$US250 ($359) million isn’t a huge amount relative to Epic Games’ overall value, which a recent report by Bloomberg estimated at over $US16 ($23) billion, but it’s a lot for one of the major console manufacturers to be pouring into the maker of one of the most popular game development engines and one of the biggest free-to-play battle royale games. At the same time, it’s not clear what this “strategic investment” might lead to in the long run.

“Through our investment, we will explore opportunities for further collaboration with Epic to delight and bring value to consumers and the industry at large, not only in games, but also across the rapidly evolving digital entertainment landscape,” Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony’s CEO, said in a press release. Meanwhile, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney called the partnership an opportunity to “build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike.”

While Epic makes a lot of money from Fortnite’s microtransactions, it’s also been using the game as a platform to cross-promote with other media companies. Marvel’s Captain America is currently a popular skin in the game, and recently Epic worked with film director Christopher Nolan to air some of his biggest movies within the game itself.

This latest investment by Sony also comes after it worked with Epic to create an Unreal Engine 5 tech demo break the cross-play deadlock between Sony and Microsoft, helping the feature to become more common across a range of multiplayer games.

Last month, Bloomberg reported that Epic was looking to raise money by selling off an additional $US750 ($1,078) million stake in the company. Back in 2012, Chinese gaming giant Tencent Games managed to buy a 40% stake in Epic for only $US330 ($474) million.

Comments

  • Who wouldn’t want to buy into Epic at this point. I was as skeptical as anyone for a long time, but Fortnight isn’t going anywhere and it’s starting to look increasingly possible that the EGS will emerge as a genuine competitor to Steam. The real question is why Epic’s current owners feel any need at all to sell some of their stake simply for a bit of extra working capital.

    • Its strategic. They’re locking in Sony into having Unreal engine as a first class player in their developer ecosystem (both first and third party) for the next 10 year cycle.

    • skeptical? have you had your head in the sand for the past 20+ years? epic have been the largest middleware developers since the late 90’s.

  • I’d be pretty happy if they made the U5 demo an actual game. Even my wife was keen, and she generally doesn’t play action/adventure games.

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