Sony, already a shareholder in Epic Games, and Kirkbi, Lego’s parent firm, are each investing US$1 billion, the firms said.
“All three companies highly value both creators and players, and aim to create new social entertainment exploring the connection between digital and physical worlds,” the joint statement added. The investment brings Epic Games’ valuation to US$31.5 billion, the US game studio said.
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Elizabeth Blair Epic, the creator of Fortnite, is getting investments of $1 billion each from Sony and the company that makes Lego. Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Imageshide caption Epic, the creator of Fortnite, is getting investments of $1 billion each from Sony and the company that makes Lego. Epic Games, creators of the wildly popular video game Fortnite, just got a $2 billion investment from legacy entertainment giants Sony Group Corp. and Kirkbi, the family-owned company behind The Lego Group. Sony and Kirkbi will each invest $1 billion in Epic.
developer Bungie earlier this year.
“This investment will accelerate our work to build the metaverse and create spaces where players can have fun with friends, brands can build creative and immersive experiences, and creators can build a community and thrive,” Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said in a statement.
Right now, the metaverse mostly remains an idea in the mind of tech CEOs, though Fortnite remains arguably the closest thing we currently have to that vision through virtual events like concerts and a grab bag of pop culture tie-ins including everything from Marvel characters and professional athletes to, most recently, the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.
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The two will work together to make children’s safety and well-being a priority, to safeguard children’s privacy and to equip children and adults with tools that give them control over their digital experience.
Epic said the digital experience will be family-friendly and empower children to become “confident creators.” The companies plan to combine their experience to ensure that this next iteration of the internet is designed with the well-being of kids in mind. There’s no word on what exactly the virtual world would look like or when the two companies plan to launch it.
There’s no clear definition of the “metaverse” just yet, mainly because it doesn’t necessarily exist, but it’s largely seen as a network of virtual spaces that will open up new ways for people to connect online.
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Epic Games has raised $2 billion from Lego owner Kirkbi Invest and Sony as the trio eyes opportunities to build virtual experiences that will lay groundwork for the metaverse.
The deal increased Epic’s post-money valuation to $31.5 billion, indicating less than $1 billion in organic valuation growth since April 2021—a slower pace relative to the company’s reported valuation growth in prior years.
Late-stage valuations have come under pressure in recent months because of public stock declines. The gaming industry is also contending with less rapid growth than it saw during the early days of the pandemic.
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Epic Games launched Unreal Engine 5 one week ago.
For their part, Kirkbi’s chief executive Søren Thorup Sørensen noted “a proportion of our investments is focused on trends we believe will impact the future world that we and our children will live in.” The $1 billion stake aligns with that mission, Sørensen said.
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The investment and the executives’ statements all align with Epic’s broader strategy of defining and administering the “metaverse,” a concept that Facebook, Microsoft, and others have latched onto over the past four years.
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.”
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Epic Games already has significant experience with the metaverse between its flagship gameFortniteand virtual concerts from artists likeTravis ScottandMarshmello.
Fortniteis one classic example of a preliminary virtual world similar to what the metaverse is expected to become. The battle royale game allows up to 100 players to fight to the last man in a rich, customizable playfield.
Sony and the company that controls Lego have both invested $1 billion in Epic Games, the Fortnite maker announced on Monday. The news comes four days after Epic and Lego said they were teaming up to build a family-friendly metaverse.
Kirkbi, which is the holding company that owns The Lego Group, is putting the money into Epic, so this is not a direct funding of that metaverse project. Sony’s investment triples its stake in Epic Games, on top of the $250 million it put into Epic in 2020 and the $200 million it added a year later.
“We are also confident that Epic’s expertise, including their powerful game engine, combined with Sony’s technologies, will accelerate our various efforts,” Kenichiro Yoshido, Sony’s chief executive, said in a statement provided by Epic.
Sweeney says in a statement. More simply put, the partnership of Lego and Epic will «build a fun place for kids to play in the metaverse!» as Epic tweeted when it announced a partnership with Lego a few days ago. Jose Najarro, a contributing analyst at The Motley Fool who covers the tech and gaming industries, tells NPR the $2 billion investment «affirms that the metaverse has a future for the gaming community.» He adds that it could also further Epic’s game engine development: «Unreal Engine is a software tool to create and design video games, and could be an essential tool for creating the metaverse.» For Sony the investment will advance its «development of new digital fan experiences in sports and our virtual production initiatives,» says Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, president and CEO of Sony Group Corp.
Epic, the creator of Fortnite, is getting investments of $1 billion each from Sony and the company that makes Lego. Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Imageshide captiontoggle captionRafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
Epic, the creator of Fortnite, is getting investments of $1 billion each from Sony and the company that makes Lego.
Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
Epic Games, creators of the wildly popular video game Fortnite, just got a $2 billion investment from legacy entertainment giants Sony Group Corp. and Kirkbi, the family-owned company behind The Lego Group. Sony and Kirkbi will each invest $1 billion in Epic.
Headquartered in Cary, N.C., Epic Games was founded by CEO Tim Sweeney in 1991. In addition to Fortnite, Epic developed the 3D game engine Unreal Engine.