Sony has announced it is now holding a minority stake in Fortnite Creator Epic Games. With a new strategic investment of $ 250 million, Sony will acquire a 1.4% stake and increase Epic Games’ valuation to $ 17.86 billion.
According to a press release that publishes the news, the investment comes from a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony. The conclusion of the agreement is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
The investment further deepens the existing relationship between Sony and Epic Games to “advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment and online social services”.
The news focuses on the recent rapprochement between the two on the PS5. Epic Games and CEO Tim Sweeney have been relentless to show off the benefits of Sony’s new console, especially the ultra-fast SSD, since the impressive tech demo for PS5 Unreal Engine 5 gave a first real impression of the dream of the next generation Has.
Under the new agreement, the two companies will expand their collaboration by leveraging Sony’s entertainment and technology assets, Epic’s social entertainment platform and digital ecosystem to deliver unique experiences for consumers and developers.
Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO of Sony Corp., explains:
Thanks to Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics, they are at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations. There is no better example of this than the revolutionary entertainment experience Fortnite. With our investment, we will explore opportunities for further collaboration with Epic to inspire consumers and the industry as a whole, not only in games, but also in the rapidly evolving digital entertainment landscape and add value. “
In the meantime, Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, shared the ambitious goals of the collaboration:
“Sony and Epic have both built at the intersection of creativity and technology, and we share the vision of real-time social 3D experiences that lead to convergence of games, movies, and music. Together we strive for an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators. “
As is so often the case, the press release lacks specific details of how the collaboration will take shape. It is therefore difficult to get an idea of what the investment means for both companies. Epic’s portfolio is currently focused on three pillars: Fortnite, the Epic Games Store, and Unreal Engine 5. We were able to realistically see Sony double the Battle Royale shooter within the PlayStation ecosystem and possibly plunge into its music publishing space to close it expand on Fortnite’s successful in-game concerts, most recently performed by artist Travis Scott.
While this is unlikely, Sony may release its upcoming PlayStation PC ports exclusively on the Epic Store. Such a move would certainly help accelerate the slow but steady expansion of the business into the Steam-dominated digital gaming store, but possibly at the expense of sales that could come from the Steam user base. With Unreal Engine 5, the scope of the collaboration can already be seen. An ally of Epic Games’ stature can only help Sony to become the next-generation dominant console platform owner again.
Personally, it conjures up images of Jim Ryan and Tim Sweeney bouncing hand in hand through a field of wildflowers, Mark Cerny, and Agent Meowscles (the strange anthropomorphic cat from Fortnite) watching from a bench with a plaque reminiscent of Sony’s investment remind.