Sony is making a $250 million “strategic investment” in Epic Games, the company behind “Fortnite,” the two announced on Thursday.
That $250 million buys Sony a 1.4% stake in Epic Games, which puts Epic’s current valuation at just shy of $18 billion.
The big-money investment “cements an already close relationship between the two companies and reinforces the shared mission to advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially-connected online services,” a press release said.
It’s unclear what impact, if any, the investment will have on Sony’s PlayStation group.
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Sony, the company behind PlayStation, now owns part of the company behind “Fortnite.”
For $250 million, Sony now owns a stake in Epic Games – the North Carolina-based, independently-owned game studio. Besides Sony, Epic Games counts Chinese conglomerate Tencent as an investor. The company remains majority-owned by its original founder and current president, Tim Sweeney.
It’s unclear what impact, if any, Sony’s investment will have on “Fortnite,” or on the upcoming PlayStation 5 console, but it’s clear that the two companies are getting cozier.
The press release announcing the deal described its impact broadly:
“The investment allows Sony and Epic to aim to broaden their collaboration across Sony’s leading portfolio of entertainment assets and technology, and Epic’s social entertainment platform and digital ecosystem to create unique experiences for consumers and creators.”
Sony president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida offered a bit more detail.
“Through our investment, we will explore opportunities for further collaboration with Epic to delight and bring value to consumers and the industry at large,” he said, “not only in games, but also across the rapidly evolving digital entertainment landscape.”
Epic will continue to publish games for a variety of different gaming platforms, a company rep confirmed, and the $250 million investment is a 1.4% stake in the company. That values Epic at just shy of $18 billion.
Just like Sony makes many more products beyond PlayStation game consoles, Epic make many products beyond “Fortnite.”
The company is responsible for the Unreal Engine software suite, a widely-used tool for building video games, and also runs the Epic Game Store, a digital storefront for Mac and PC gaming. In addition to “Fortnite,” Epic also owns and operates “Rocket League,” another popular online multiplayer game.
It’s also worth noting that “Fortnite” has played host to several online social events, including a very well-attended virtual concert by Travis Scott.
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