This significant investment doesn’t come out of left field. Epic Games recently demoed Unreal Engine 5 on PlayStation 5 hardware, which was an impressive showing of both the game engine and Sony’s upcoming console. It’s likely we’ll see more direct collaboration between Sony and Epic Games as a result of this deal. However, many companies own stake in Epic Games, with Chinese conglomerate Tencent holding an estimated 40% of shares.
Sony Corporation Chairman, President, and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida had this to say about the investment:
“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.”
Tim Sweeny, founder, and CEO of Epic Games seems equally enthused about the partnership:
“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.”
As we close in on the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, we’ll likely see more deals like this occurring. With the hardware so evenly matched, console makers will be relying on exclusive content even more heavily on next-gen platforms. There’s a high probability that both Microsoft and Sony will be fighting to add new studios and allies to their side to make their consoles more appealing for consumers.