Sony PlayStation: 1 billion invested in Epic (Fortnite), the acquisition soon?

Business news Sony PlayStation: 1 billion invested in Epic (Fortnite), the acquisition soon?

It is certain, in 2022 Sony decided to align the currency. After recently acquiring Bungie and Haven, the Japanese company has released $1 billion to support the activity of Epic Games, the father of Fortnite and the Unreal Engine. A considerable amount of course, but what translates into which intentions? Here’s our opinion.

Sony PlayStation: 1 billion invested in Epic (Fortnite), the acquisition soon?

Sony Playstation (Logo)

To use the name of a famous movie, slightly adapt it: “Billion Dollar Baby”. A billion dollars is the very large amount that Sony has just invested in Epic Gamescompany behind the famous battle royale Fortnite and the Unreal Engine. The company is thus closing a $2 billion fundraiser with the goal “to build the metaverse and support its continued growth,” in which Kirkbi (LEGO) also participated for a billion dollars. “As a creative entertainment company, we are excited to invest in Epic to deepen our relationship in the metaverse space” explain in a communicated Kenichiro Yoshida, CEO of Sony Group – the global entity, not just the one for PlayStation. “We are also confident that the expertise of Epic Games (…) will accelerate our various efforts, such as the development of new digital experiences for sports fans and our virtual project initiatives”

“Metavers”, “digital experiences for sports fans”? Has Sony fallen on its head? Keep in mind that we’re talking about Sony in general, not just the “Interactive Entertainment” division dedicated to the PlayStation brand. In recent months, the Japanese company has been increasingly present in the field of interactive digital experiences (probably as a result of the health crisis). astonishing partnership with the famous club Manchester City† The goal: to create an online space where fans can interact with the team within a “metaverse”, which models the Etihad football stadium.

Sony has talked about developing in the past digital concerts thanks to virtual reality, as part of the “Lindbergh” project. And who understands it? Yes, Epic Games, with its now must-have musical events in Fortnite (Travis Scott, Aya Nakamura, etc.). Before even talking about an acquisition, Sony’s investment first comes out a exchange of good practices between the Japanese company and Epic Games“As we reshape the future of entertainment, we need partners who share our vision. We found that (…) at Sony” comments TIm Sweeney, CEO of Epic. PlayStation’s father had already given him $250 million in 2020, and a second $200 million the following year. As a result, the two companies are supporting each other, such as for the presentation of the Unreal Engine 5 on PS5, in 2020.

Right: VR virtual concert project (Sony); Left: Travis Scott Concert (Fortnite)

Sony PlayStation: 1 billion invested in Epic (Fortnite), the acquisition soon?Sony PlayStation: 1 billion invested in Epic (Fortnite), the acquisition soon?


On a smaller scale, this even more concrete agreement also benefits PlayStation. Not necessarily for a metaverse, a term that we find little – if at all – in the mouth of Sony’s video game branch. but rather for their approach to future multiplayer-focused PS4 and PS5 games† An “editorial line” that we do not necessarily associate with the company, but which nevertheless has recently taken shape, especially with the acquisition of the Haven studio led by Jade Raymond. The team is working on “a systemic, scalable triple-A (…) that will entertain and captivate players for years to come,” the team said. PlayStation blog† A future exclusivity that looks like a real game service, a genre for which Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, notes the importance, in a recent interview† Yet the man reassures: “We will continue to create single-player narrative games”

Again, not complicated to draw the parallel between Epic and this project. Fortnite, the real goose of the company, is a example almost unparalleled in terms of commitment and follow-up over five years. That being said, can we envision a takeover of Epic Games by Sony? This outcome seems unlikely. To date, CEO Tim Sweeney owns more than 50% of the shares. As a majority, he has the last word. Then there is the Chinese Tencent (40% in the latest news) while Sony is still – of course – around 2%. Tim Sweeney’s vision and leadership are strongly endorsed. Few companies have dared to challenge Google and Apple’s monopoly on their own turf, even go to court against the Apple brand. But in a world where Activision-Blizzard has been acquired by Microsoft, anything is possible.

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