Epic Game has announced it has received a $2 billion investment into its metaverse development, half of which comes from Sony.
The PlayStation maker, which already has a minority interest in Epic, has thrown $1 billion at the Unreal and Fortnite developer to create “new social entertainment exploring the connection between digital and physical worlds,” according to a press release. The other billion comes from investment holding company Kirkbi, majority owner of The Lego Group. Last week, Epic announced a partnership with Lego to develop a family-friendly metaverse targeting children. The press release states that today’s investment would bring Epic’s estimated valuation to 31.5 billion.
“As a creative entertainment company, we are thrilled to invest in Epic to deepen our relationship in the metaverse field, a space where creators and users share their time,” said Sony Group president, chairman, and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida in the press release. “We are also confident that Epic’s expertise, including their powerful game engine, combined with Sony’s technologies, will accelerate our various efforts such as the development of new digital fan experiences in sports and our virtual production initiatives.”
The investment comes after Epic officially released Unreal Engine 5 last week, an engine that will likely play a significant role in developing whatever non-Fortnite metaverse Epic has in mind. The metaverse continues to be a popular buzzword as tech companies develop and define their versions of the concept. Epic is seemingly ahead of the curve more than most businesses, given that Fortnite already embodies many of the “all-encompassing digital world” elements a metaverse is often presented as, making Sony’s investment understandable from that sense.
Sony invested $250 million into Epic in July 2020, giving it minority interest to strengthen and expand collaboration on tech for digital ecosystems, namely Unreal Engine. Despite today’s investments, the press release notes that Epic still has a single class of common stock outstanding and that Tim Sweeny remains in control as CEO. The fruits of this partnership and Epic’s metaverse remain to be seen and likely won’t be for some time, but today’s news is another substantial monetary step towards making those plans a reality.