Sony has purchased a $250 million minority stake in billion-dollar titan Epic Games, the company today announced.
Sony has invested $250 million into Epic Games in a bid to strengthen its relationship with one of gaming's top moneymakers. The deal isn't just about swelling Sony's coffers, though. Epic has unique technological advantages in the industry thanks to its Unreal Engine games-making software.
For perspective's sake, the $250 million investment only nets Sony a 1.5% stake in Epic, which is now valued at over $17 billion.
This investment will help fortify Sony's next-gen PlayStation 5 hardware, software, and services ecosystem through Epic's Unreal Engine tech, services knowledge, and critical feedback that is shaping the PS5 console's development. Sony also seeks to use Epic's know-how to help bolster its flagging Sony Pictures entertainment business.
"The investment allows Sony and Epic to aim to broaden their collaboration across Sony's leading portfolio of entertainment assets and technology," reads the press release.
The two companies have been bedfellows for years now. Fortnite revenues have made billions for Sony's PlayStation Network, which generated a titanic $18.1 billion in 2019, and feedback from Epic Games has been instrumental in helping design the PlayStation 5's architecture and hardware.
Epic was the first to unveil official PlayStation 5 gameplay footage accompanied by gushing praise from key execs.The new Unreal Engine 5 graphics engine was built specifically with the PlayStation 5's hardware in mind, and this investment will continue to solidify the engine's potential capabilities on the platform.
This will have a long-term ripple-down effect that touches every game made with Unreal Engine 5 on the PlayStation 5. Sony is also clearly aiming to learn more from Epic in regards to games-as-a-service titles, of which Sony is mostly lacking. The company's first-party games are typically singleplayer-only premium affairs without live service hooks.
"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," said Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Corporation.
"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," said Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Epic.