It appears that Sony likes what it sees from its initial Epic Games investment. After Sony put in nearly half a million dollars into Epic, including $200 million last year, the Sony Group and KIRKBI, the investment company behind The Lego Group, just dropped $1 billion each into the Unreal Engine studio to help with its metaverse.
Epic confirmed the massive investment in an official blog post, explaining that the goal of the three companies is to "create new social entertainment exploring the connection between digital and physical worlds." Both funding decisions should not come off as a surprise. As mentioned earlier, Sony has had a bountiful relationship with Epic in recent years. Meanwhile, The Lego Group and Epic announced a new deal recently for the creation of child-friendly virtual play spaces.
Following the latest buy-ins, Epic Games' valuation is now up by $3 billion to $31.5 billion. Epic founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney, is still in control of the privately-owned company.
Epic Games has been busy lately. No more than a week ago, Epic fully launched Unreal Engine 5 alongside a playable demo. We do not doubt that the latest Unreal Engine version will play a huge role in the development of Epic's metaverse undertaking. Although the word itself has become a popular buzzword in the tech, crypto and gaming industries lately, Epic has a head start because of the success of Fortnite.
In a way, Fortnite is already an "all-encompassing digital world", complete with crossovers from all sorts of properties, and going as far as to host live concerns from world-famous celebrities.
Speaking of Fortnite, Epic introduced Zero Build mode to the popular battle royale shooter as part of the studio's latest attempt at keeping things fresh and exciting. Epic also set a good example for what video game companies can do in times of need. To help raise funds to provide humanitarian relief for Ukrainians, Epic pledged to donate all in-game proceeds to the victims of the besieged country from March 20 to April 3, raising $36 million in the first 48 hours alone and a total of $144 million in two weeks.
As for Sony, fans are expecting the tech giant to hold a PSVR2 showcase soon.