Sony and Epic Games have announced a strategic investment that will see the Japanese company acquire a minority interest in Epic for USD250 million (~RM1 billion). According to a press release, the partnership will see Sony leverage off Epic’s game development technology, with future collaborations to range from games to “digital entertainment” as a whole.
It’s worth noting that this investment doesn’t buy Sony any sort of exclusivity over Epic Games’ range of video game titles—including Fortnite. Instead, the partnership will allow Sony and Epic to “broaden their collaboration” by leveraging off the former’s technology assets and the latter’s digital ecosystem.
According to Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President, and CEO of Sony Corporation:
“Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics places them at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations. There’s no better example of this than the revolutionary entertainment experience, Fortnite.”
What’s also interesting is the mention of a shared vision of “real-time 3D social experiences” that will intersect the gaming, film, and music genres. It appears that Fortnite’s success as a cultural gaming phenomenon, as mentioned by Yoshida, is the type of “experience” that Sony is looking to recreate, and expand upon.
The investment—big though it may sound—isn’t even close to a controlling stake in Epic Games. VentureBeat reports that the game company is valued at a staggering USD17.86 billion (~RM76 billion). However, the investment marks a continuing bond between Sony and Epic Games, with Epic Games once using a PlayStation 5 demo to showcase their latest game engine, the Unreal Engine 5:
And of course, Sony has also worked with Epic Games to enable cross-platform play for Fortnite, along with Microsoft’s Xbox, the Nintendo Switch, and the PC platform. Fortnite, on its own, is described as “the world’s largest game”, with more than 350 million registered accounts and 2.5 billion friend connections made over the platform.
“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. Together we strive to build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike.”– Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Epic
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