Epic Games, creators of the popular Fortnite series, as well as Unreal Engine, have just announced they have received a $250M investment from Sony, makers of the PlayStation consoles. It was announced in June that Epic Games were looking for investments valuing the company at 17B dollars. While this does not appear to be that investment, it does in fact value Epic Games at over 17B USD.
The $250M dollar investment represents an ownership stake of 1.4%, a far cry from the 40% Tencent received for it’s 2012 $330M investment. The ultimate question is… what does Sony get out of this? Dean Takahashi at VentureBeat discusses exactly that subject:
The deal is important for Sony because it needs allies in the upcoming console war. Later this year, Sony plans to launch the PlayStation 5 game console in competition with Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. But Epic has said that its Unreal Engine 5 and Fortnite will work with all game platforms, as Epic has generally been neutral when it comes to making cross-platform technology. If Sony gets any advantage from investing in Epic, it isn’t clear from this deal.
In a statement, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said that Epic’s technology keeps it at the forefront of game development and that is exemplified in the features of Fortnite. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, meanwhile, said in a statement that both Sony and Epic have created businesses at the intersection of creativity and technology and they share a vision of real-time 3D social experiences that will lead to a convergence of gaming, film, and music. He also said the parties plan to build a “more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators.”
The bolded point above is perhaps the most important part for game developers, Unreal Engine should not be affected by this investment. You can learn more in the video below.