Sony has invested $1 billion dollars into Epic Games to further expand the relationship between the two companies and help support the development of the metaverse. A separate $1 billion investment into Epic was made at the same time by Lego parent company Kirkbi.
"As a creative entertainment company, we are thrilled to invest in Epic to deepen our relationship in the metaverse field, a space where creators and users share their time," Sony Group Corporation chairman, president, and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said. "We are also confident that Epic’s expertise, including their powerful game engine, combined with Sony’s technologies, will accelerate our various efforts such as the development of new digital fan experiences in sports and our virtual production initiatives."
This is Sony's second round of investment into Epic Games, following an initial $250 million investment (opens in new tab) made in July 2020. Kirkbi's investment, meanwhile, comes less than a week after the Lego Group announced a long-term partnership (opens in new tab) with Epic to "shape the future of the metaverse."
"A proportion of our investments is focused on trends we believe will impact the future world that we and our children will live in," Kirkbi CEO Søren Thorup Sørensen said. "This investment will accelerate our engagement in the world of digital play, and we are pleased to be investing in Epic Games to support their continued growth journey, with a long-term focus toward the future metaverse."
Unfortunately, the announcement does not address the most fundamental lingering question about the metaverse: What exactly is it? We have our own thoughts on the topic (it's bullshit (opens in new tab)), but Epic said that the three companies "aim to create new social entertainment exploring the connection between digital and physical worlds." Which is not the most concise breakdown of what's cookin' that I've ever run into, but for now it seems to be about as good as we're going to get. Make of that what you will.
"This investment will accelerate our work to build the metaverse and create spaces where players can have fun with friends, brands can build creative and immersive experiences and creators can build a community and thrive," Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said.
Epic's "post-money equity valuation"—basically, what it's worth after Sony and Lego drop off the cash—is now $31.5 billion, but the investment does not change its ownership situation: The company stated that it remains controlled by Sweeney.