Epic Video games just lately introduced an epic new wave of fundraising, notable each for the $2 billion it’s pulled in and for an eye-raising agency current among the many main companions: Sony. The makers of PlayStation VR have invested a cool $1 billion in Epic to additional “the event of recent digital fan experiences” and the “metaverse.”
As we speak’s information comes recent on the heels of Epic displaying off some spectacular new tech. Final week, Epic Video games hosted a showcase for the discharge of Unreal 5, the newest iteration of its highly effective 3D rendering engine, that includes quite a lot of high-profile builders, together with The Coalition (a Microsoft-owned studio finest recognized for latest Gears video games) and CD Projekt Pink (who’s growing the subsequent Witcher recreation in Unreal 5). As for stuff you may truly get your arms on as we speak, Unreal 5 was used to create The Matrix Awakens, a tech demo for PS5 and Xbox Collection X/S with graphics so real-looking some individuals have been like, “Woah, I can’t inform what’s actual or what’s not, man.”
This isn’t the one important funding Sony has made in Epic. In 2020, Sony invested $250 million in Epic for causes that, at the very least publicly, may solely be outlined as “a bunch of enterprise buzzwords.” A 12 months later, Sony poured an extra $200 million in for a lot of the identical. As we speak’s funding, the third to this point, is greater than twice the prior two—mixed.
It’s not completely clear what all this cash is for, whether or not it’s laying the groundwork for eventual PlayStation exclusivity of future video games developed by Epic or, as closely advised by statements from the CEOs of each corporations, extra about beefing up Sony’s digital actuality endeavors. (Sony’s PSVR2 is coming…sooner or later.) Representatives for Sony didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. Epic Video games, in the meantime, merely redirected Kotaku towards the press launch asserting as we speak’s information.
“This funding will speed up our work to construct the metaverse and create areas the place gamers can have enjoyable with mates, manufacturers can construct inventive and immersive experiences and creators can construct a neighborhood and thrive,” Epic CEO Tim Sweeney mentioned within the launch.
“We’re thrilled to put money into Epic to deepen our relationship within the metaverse area, an area the place creators and customers share their time,” Kenichiro Yoshida, chairman, president, and CEO of Sony, mentioned in a press launch. “We’re additionally assured that Epic’s experience, together with their highly effective recreation engine, mixed with Sony’s applied sciences, will speed up our numerous efforts reminiscent of the event of recent digital fan experiences in sports activities and our digital manufacturing initiatives.”
Sony has been on a little bit of a spending spree these days, most notably with its $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie, the makers of Future, meant to spearhead a push into live-service video games. Final 12 months, Sony picked up Housemarque and Bluepoint, each of whom aren’t recognized for on-line multiplayer video games however, as a substitute, slightly for luxuriously produced single-player PS5 video games (Returnal and the Demon’s Souls remake, respectively). And in 2019, Sony paid $229 million to carry Insomniac, the studio behind PlayStation-exclusive hits like Ratchet & Clank and Marvel’s Spider-Man, into the fold.