Sony has invested $1 billion in Epic Games to expand the relationship between the two companies and help support the development of the metaverse. A separate $1 billion was invested in Epic at the same time by Lego parent company Kirkbi.
“As a creative entertainment company, we are excited to invest in Epic to deepen our relationship in the metaverse, a space where creators and users share their time,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony Group Corporation Chairman, President and CEO. “We are also confident that Epic’s expertise, including its powerful game engine, combined with Sony’s technologies, will accelerate our various efforts such as developing new digital fan experiences in sports and our virtual production initiatives.”
This is Sony’s second round of investment in Epic Games, following an initial investment of $250 million in July 2020. Meanwhile, Kirkbi’s investment comes less than a week after the Lego Group announced a long-term partnership with Epic “to shape the future of Metaverse.”
“A proportion of our investments focus on trends we believe will impact the future world in which we and our children will live,” said Søren Thorp Sorensen, CEO of Kirkby. “This investment will accelerate our participation in the world of digital play, and we are excited to be investing in Epic Games to support their continued growth journey, with a long-term focus toward the metaverse.”
Unfortunately, the declaration does not address the most fundamental question lingering about the metaverse: what exactly is it? We have our own ideas about it (it’s nonsense), but Epic said the three companies “aims to create new social entertainment to explore the relationship between the digital and physical worlds.” And it’s not the most succinct breakdown of what a cookout I’ve ever come across, but for now it seems to be about as good as we’ll get. Do whatever you like.
“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,” said Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games.
Epic’s “after-money equity valuation” — essentially, what it’s worth after Sony and Lego ditch the cash — is now $31.5 billion, but the investment doesn’t change its ownership position: the company says it remains under Sweeney’s control.