Two giants in the gaming space have become more tangibly intertwined. Today, Epic Games and Sony announced that the latter has made a strategic investment in the former, to the tune of $250 million.
This investment allows Sony a minority interest in Epic Games, through a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony's. But it also broadens potential future collaborations between the two parties, not just in games, but in the broader entertainment space. The closing of the investment is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
"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," said Epic CEO Tim Sweeney in a press statement. "Together we strive to build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike."
The collaboration between these two parties has been churning for a while, most notably in the Unreal Engine 5 showcase using PlayStation 5 hardware. Sweeney has frequently praised aspects of Sony's upcoming next-gen console, especially its storage system.
The comments about building an experience that spans across multiple media certainly sounds like Epic's territory. Fortnite, it's popular battle royale shooter-turned-pop culture phenomenon, has had massive success with events like the Travis Scott in-game concert. In today's press release, Sony President and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida highlighted Fortnite in particular as an example of Epic's innovations.
"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 across the rapidly evolving digital entertainment landscape," said Yoshida.
One point of contention might be in the realm of crossplay. Where Sweeney has stressed the importance of crossplay moving forward, Sony has been historically resistant to these features. Sony is only acquiring a minority interest, and according to VentureBeat, Epic will still be able to publish to other platforms. This deal makes sense for Sony building up its presence headed into the next generation, though whether the results of this deal will be seen in the near future is unclear.