Sony invests $250 million in Fortnite creator Epic Games
Sony Corp. invested $250 million in Epic Games Inc., owner of the popular video game Fortnite and the mobile app Houseparty.
Sony, the maker of the PlayStation, didn’t disclose the price it paid for stock in the privately held company. Bloomberg first reported last month that Epic was close to securing funding at a valuation of about $17 billion.
Fortnite has been an influential force in games and culture over the last few years. The game had more than 350 million players as of April, benefiting from the influx of people spending more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Quarantine has also been a boon for Houseparty, which allows people to chat over video and play games with their friends. Some 50 million users signed up to use the app in March and April.
Sony is preparing for the introduction later this year of the PlayStation 5, the first major game console release for the company since 2013. Sony worked with Epic on a new version of the startup’s game development tools, Unreal Engine 5, tailored to the PlayStation 5’s hardware. The companies demonstrated the technology in May.
Epic is primarily focused on games, but Tim Sweeney, the chief executive officer, said in a statement Thursday that he shares a vision with Sony of a “convergence of gaming, film and music.”