Deepening the Sony Epic Games relationship even further, Sony has invested an additional $1 billion into the maker of Fortnite and Unreal Engine 5 during a recent round of fundraising. Sony is joined by the KIRKBI, the investment company behind The LEGO Group, which has also decided to invest $1 billion in Epic Games.
What is the purpose behind this Sony Epic Games investment?
According to a press release by Epic Games, Sony’s $1 billion investment is meant “to build the metaverse and supports its continued growth” as Sony hopes “to create new social entertainment exploring the connection between digital and physical worlds.”
Given the company’s stake in virtual reality with its upcoming PlayStation VR 2 headset, which has received rave reviews from developers behind-the-scenes at GDC 2022, this serious investment comes to no surprise.
Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO of Sony Group Corporation, believes that Epic Games is at the forefront of video game technology and is more than worthy of the funding:
As a creative entertainment company, we are thrilled to invest in Epic to deepen our relationship in the metaverse field, a space where creators and users share their time. We are also confident that Epic’s expertise, including their powerful game engine, combined with Sony’s technologies, will accelerate our various efforts such as the development of new digital fan experiences in sports and our virtual production initiatives.
This incredible $1 billion investment marks the third time Sony has decided to fund Epic Games. It invested $250 million into Epic Games for a minority stake in the company in July 2020, and then put in another $200 million in April 2021. Thus, this third investment is more than double the sum of the first two combined, showing how comfortable and confident Sony is with the partnership.
It’s unclear what an investment of this incredible size is for, though it suggests that there may be a PlayStation-exclusive title in the pipeline at Epic Games or that Sony may be thoroughly impressed with Unreal Engine 5. The $1 billion investment by The LEGO Group is more obvious given that they will both be creating a metaverse experience that is “safe and fun for children and families” according to another press release by Epic Games on April 7.