Sony and Epic Games have revealed the former is making a "strategic investment of $250 million" to acquire a minority interest in the latter. According to the pair, the meaty investment "cements an already close relationship" and "reinforced the shared mission to advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially-connected online services." With the investment, Sony is far from being a majority shareholder, which is highly unlikely to ever happen considering the investment it would require. Epic Games is currently valued at $17 billion, which is an astronomical increase from its position in the past made possible primarily by the success of Fortnite.
The pair note that the investment will allow both companies to broaden their collaboration, but this is all they note. In other words, it's unclear if this investment will result in anything tangible and noteworthy enough that the average consumer will notice, let alone care about. What it could mean though is PlayStation Studios making more use of Epic's in-house game engine, Unreal Engine, going forward.
"Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics places them at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations," said Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Corporation. "There’s no better example of this than the revolutionary entertainment experience, Fortnite. Through our investment, we will explore opportunities for further collaboration with Epic to delight and bring value to consumers and the industry at large, not only in games, but also across the rapidly evolving digital entertainment landscape."
“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," added said Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Epic. "Together we strive to build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike."
Sony joins a growing list of investors in Epic Games, who was also recently subject to a huge investment by giant Chinese media conglomerate, Tencent. And it's safe to assume this won't be the last meaty investment in the company if its valuation continues to soar as it has been.
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