Sony buys US$250m stake in Fortnite publisher Epic Games

Video game giant reportedly valued at US$17.86bn after 1.4% stake sale.

by Sam Carp

Sony buys US$250m stake in Fortnite publisher Epic Games
  • Epic Games has now raised US$1.6bn to date
  • Pair plan to collaborate on “unique experiences” for consumers and creators
  • Epic founder hints at plans to bring together gaming, film, and music

Japanese conglomerate Sony Corporation has bought a US$250 million minority stake in Fortnite publisher and Unreal Engine creator Epic Games.

The deal gives Sony, which owns the PlayStation console brand, a reported 1.4 per cent share in Epic, valuing the North Carolina-headquartered company at U$17.86 billion.

Sony and Epic said the investment, which remains subject to customary closing conditions, would enable them to broaden an already close relationship to ‘create unique experiences’ for consumers and creators.

The pair recently collaborated in May when Epic showcased its Unreal Engine, which powers a host of first-person shooter games, on the upcoming PlayStation 5.

Kenichiro Yoshida, chairman, president and chief executive of Sony Corporation, said: “Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics places them at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations. 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’s investment means Epic has raised US$1.6 billion to date. Bloomberg reported in June that the company, which employs more than 2,200 employees across 35 offices worldwide, was close to raising a separate US$750 million round of funding. 

Tim Sweeney, founder and chief executive of Epic, added: “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. Together we strive to build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike.”