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Sony invests $250 million in Fortnite maker Epic Games

Sony has invested $250 in Epic Games, the creator of battle royale sensation Fortnite. 

Both companies announced the move on July 9, and said that the investment will bring them closer together in their shared mission to “advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially connected online services.”

In May, Epic debuted its Unreal Engine 5 graphics on a PlayStation 5, so the companies have been working together for a while. The move makes sense for Sony, which is preparing to release its next-generation console and wants to be at the forefront of entertainment and technology, something that Fortnite has been able to do remarkably well.

Sony’s newest console is in direct competition with Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, so every deal it makes is important. However, it’s not clear if there are any specific advantages in terms of exclusivity with the agreement, and Epic will still be able to publish to other platforms.

“Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics places them at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations,” chairman, president, and CEO of Sony Corporation Kenichiro Yoshida said in a statement.

Yoshida also mentioned the “revolutionary entertainment experience” provided by Fortnite. The deal means that Sony is going to dig deep on collaborating with Epic and bring “value to consumers” not only in games but in the entertainment sphere as well.

Fortnite offers concerts, movies, and other entertainment options within the game, and companies are noticing the popularity of these events. A recent virtual Travis Scott concert attracted more than 27 million people. Sony also recently announced that it was going to build a team dedicated to using Fortnite to create immersive media.

“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 CEO and founder Tim Sweeney said in a statement. “Together we strive to build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike.”

Epic Games is a privately held company and doesn’t disclose financials, but VentureBeat reported that in 2019 the company saw $4.2 billion in revenue and $730 million in earnings before taxes and other expenses.

Epic Games declined to comment on the deal outside of the press release, and Digital Trends has reached out to Sony for comment as well.

Fortnite is getting a Disney universe made by Epic Games
Concept art for Disney's Fortnite experience.

Epic Games is partnering with Disney to create “an all-new games and entertainment universe” that’s compatible with Fortnite.

Announced Wednesday afternoon — at the same time as it was announced that ESPN would be available as a standalone subscription in 2025 —  this partnership follows a $1.5 billion investment in Epic Games by Disney. They companies now plan to work together over several years to create this experience connected to Fortnite, which Disney says will “offer a multitude of opportunities for consumers to play, watch, shop and engage with content, characters and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar, and more.”

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Solid Snake aiming a pistol out of a box in Fortnite.

Fortnite is set to come back to iOS in Europe sometime in 2024. This will mark the first time a natively running version of Fortnite will be available on iOS since Apple removed the game from the App Store in 2020.

Apple did so at the time because Epic tried to use its own third-party payment system, kicking off a series of legal battles in an attempt to get Apple to open up its platform more. Although those legal battles have yielded mixed results for Epic, a newly passed Digital Markets Act in the European Union is forcing Apple to do things like "allow third parties to inter-operate with the gatekeeper’s own services in certain specific situations" and "allow their business users to promote their offer and conclude contracts with their customers outside the gatekeeper’s platform."

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If you beat Marvel's Spider-Man 2 over the holidays, there's another fantastic Marvel video game you should pick up for free on the Epic Game Store. As the final game given away for free as part of a holiday event, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is available free of charge on the Epic Games Store between today and January 11.

Eidos Montreal and Square Enix released Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy in October 2021. While it might seem like the game is riding the coattails of the successful movie series based on these characters, it tells a deeply personal and captivating story about found family and fatherhood. Although you'll recognize the struggles of characters like Gamora and Drax if you've watched James Gunn's films, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy reinterprets all these characters in creative ways, telling an intimate and interactive story in a way only a video game can. On top of that, it's also an enjoyable action game where players control Star-Lord but can call on the other Guardians for help.

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