Sony have reportedly acquired a 1.4% stake in Epic Games (Fortnite, the Epic Games Store), for $250 million USD.
Venture Beat and Forbes report that this will also bolster the partnership between Sony and Epic Games. Both reportedly share the goal (in Venture Beat’s words) “to advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially connected online services.” In fact, the Unreal Engine 5 reveal was conducted on a PlayStation 5.
As Venture Beat explains, this means Epic Games will have an easier time accessing Sony’s “portfolio of entertainment assets and technology” (the former likely being video game IPs), while Sony will have access to Epic Game’s “social entertainment platform and digital ecosystem”- such as Fortnite‘s use as a performance or social space, and the Epic Games Store.
Epic Games had raised $1.58 billion USD from three funding rounds prior to Sony’s investment, and $1.83 billion USD. This includes investment from Chinese tech giant Tencent, who acquired Tencent Games, who acquired 40% ownership of Epic Games for $330 million USD.
However, this deal is separate from Epic Games’ efforts to raise $750 million USD from investors. Bloomberg reported this was at a valuation of an estimated $17 billion USD.
Epic Games reportedly stated their video games would continue to be available on all platforms.
The deal also casts new light on an earlier rumor of Tencent being behind the censorship of anime-style sexual content on PlayStation 4. While our own report was inconclusive, we now know that PlayStation and Epic Games at least have a closer relationship.