Sony and Fortnite developer Epic Games have announced a new kind of partnership, with Sony investing $250 million for a minority stake in Epic, according to a GamesBeat report. It’s unclear what percentage Sony now owns, but this is not a controlling stake in the company.
The deal solidifies the already-close relationship between Epic Games and Sony, with the two teaming up more recently to show off the advanced technology of Unreal Engine 5 running on a PlayStation 5. Sony’s investment will allow the two to “create unique experiences for consumers and creators,” GamesBeat said.
Unreal Engine, Epic Games’ proprietary creation toolkit that many modern games are built upon, has become increasingly popular since its inception in 1998. Originally built for first-person shooters like Unreal, UE is now one of the most popular engines used in game development, powering titles such as Gears 5 and many more.
It’s worth noting that the Chinese internet giant Tencent has also invested in Epic Games, paying $330 million to own 40% of the company back in March 2013.
Though Sony has invested in Epic Games, Epic has confirmed that the deal doesn’t preclude it from publishing titles on other platforms. Additionally, Epic has confirmed that Unreal Engine 5 will appear on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. “If Sony gets any advantage from investing in Epic, it isn’t clear from this deal,” GamesBeat said.
In a statement provided to GamesBeat, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said both companies plan to build a “more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators.”
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