The Sony Corporation has agreed to make a strategic investment of $250 million to acquire a minority interest in Epic Games. The strategic investment is aimed at broadening the collaboration between Epic Games with its entertainment platform and digital ecosystem, and Sony with its portfolio of entertainment and technology.
Epic Games is not only known as the developer of the wildly popular Fortnite, but also the owner of the Epic Games Store. However, perhaps most beneficial to companies wanting to collaborate with Epic is Unreal Engine, a powerful real-time 3D creation platform. In addition to being one of the most prominently used engines in the video game industry, Unreal Engine has also been used in television and film making, with properties like The Mandalorian using it for special effects.
“Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics places them at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations," Sony chairman, president, and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said in a press release. "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."
“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," Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said in that same press release. "Together we strive to build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike.”
The most recent version of Unreal Engine, Unreal Engine 4, released in 2014, but has received continuous updates to this year. Epic Games showed a tech demo of Unreal Engine 5 running on Sony's PlayStation 5 earlier this year. Epic Games expects Unreal Engine 5 to release late 2021.