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Sony has made a multimillion dollar investment into Fortnite and Unreal Engine maker Epic Games, grabbing itself a minority stake in the company for the price of $250 million.
It’s a sizable investment and one that both parties say will allow for better collaboration down the road, with Sony specifically noting that the deal will benefit its wider digital entertainment business as well as its efforts in the game industry.
“Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics places them at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations,” reads a statement from Sony CEO and president Kenichiro Yoshida. “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.”
This adds to the $1.58 billion Epic Games had raised in previous funding efforts, including the $330 million investment made by Tencent in 2012 in exchange for a 40 percent stake in the company. There’s no mention of what percentage Sony’s $250 million investment lands it, but the deal does follow only weeks after reports first circulated that Epic was looking to sell off a stake in the company worth $750 million (which would then value the company at $17 billion.)
(Update: Venture Beat reports that Sony's $250 million investment grants it a 1.4 percent stake in Epic, which then gives Epic Games a valuation of $17.86 billion.)
“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," reads a statement from Epic CEO Tim Sweeney. "Together we strive to build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike."