Sony has just cinched a huge deal that could see the next-gen console war tip in its favour. The Japanese company has dropped $250 million for a minority share in Epic Games, the studio behind the phenomenally successful battle royale game Fortnite.
The move could see Sony at an advantage over Microsoft when it comes the PS5 and Xbox Series X, with Epic not only being the developer of the massive cross-platform title, but also the creator of the Unreal Engine - a foundation for a huge number of video games.
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VentureBeat reveals that Sony has invested $250 million for a 1.5% stake in Epic Games, which demonstrate just how much of a success Fortnite has been for the studio - back in 2012, Chinese company Tencent made an investment of $330 million which bought it a 40% stake when the developer was worth $825 million; it's now valued at $17 billion.
According to noted industry analyst Daniel Ahmad, the deal is less about Sony getting its hands on exclusive content, and more about seizing a strategic opportunity for the future.
The burgeoning relationship seems to have been growing for a while now, with Epic Games' Tim Sweeney recently gushing about how great the Unreal Engine 5 looks on the PS5.
Talking more broadly, Sony is fully aware of the direction Epic is heading in with Fortnite converging games, film, music and entertainment. This is an area that Sony is also looking to explore with its various divisions and the partnership can benefit both in this case.July 9, 2020
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In a statement regarding the new deal (via Nikkei) Sweeney said:
"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."
Fortnite has evolved into an online space that's more than just a game, and along with the Epic Store, its online services, and the Unreal Engine, Epic Games continues to push the boundaries of possibility, and now Sony is along for the ride.