Epic Video games not too long ago 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 latest digital fan experiences” and the “metaverse.”
At the moment’s information comes contemporary on the heels of Epic exhibiting 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 a variety 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 palms on right now, Unreal 5 was used to create The Matrix Awakens, a tech demo for PS5 and Xbox Sequence 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 yr later, Sony poured an extra $200 million in for a lot of the identical. At the moment’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 urged by statements from the CEOs of each corporations, extra about beefing up Sony’s digital actuality endeavors. (Sony’s PSVR2 is coming…in some unspecified time in the future.) 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 right now’s information.
“This funding will speed up our work to construct the metaverse and create areas the place gamers can have enjoyable with pals, manufacturers can construct inventive and immersive experiences and creators can construct a neighborhood and thrive,” Epic CEO Tim Sweeney mentioned within the launch.
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“We’re thrilled to spend money on 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 varied efforts comparable to the event of latest digital fan experiences in sports activities and our digital manufacturing initiatives.”
Sony has been on a little bit of a spending spree recently, 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 yr, Sony picked up Housemarque and Bluepoint, each of whom aren’t recognized for on-line multiplayer video games however, as a substitute, relatively 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.