Sony Acquires Minority Stake In Epic Games

By Ben Hamill - July 13 2020
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Sony Acquires Minority Stake In Epic Games

Japanese video games console giant Sony has acquired a minority stake to the value of $250 million in Fortnite’s Epic Games. And it’s a move analysts regard as much bigger and strategically broader than gaming only. In fact, much of what Sony seems to be gunning for with the Epic-acquisition aligns perfectly with Epic’s own cross-markets focus, says Piers Harding-Rolls, who is the head of games research at Ampere Analysis.

The relationship between the Fortnite creator and PlayStation maker builds more extensively on an existing historical collaboration between the two video gaming entertainment giants. With Epic being a powerful role-player in especially areas such as graphics in video games design, Sony will naturally want to tap into the company’s knack for creating unique entertainment experiences like Gears of War, and of course, Fortnite.

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Fortnite, Unreal Engine, & More

But perhaps even more significant to the agreement even than Epic’s handle on Fortnite, is its Unreal game-engine. Epic’s Unreal software powers some of the world’s leading video games available on Steam and other leading games platforms today. And while on the topic of leading gaming retail and community-based platforms, Epic Games also owns and runs an online games store that competes with Steam. All of this will without a doubt have played a deciding role in Sony’s decision to acquire.

What’s more, judging by Sony’s statement to the industry at the time of the company having made known its latest involvement with Epic Games, the video games giant’s newest collab with Epic is far from the last or even the whole extent of it. Sony’s acquisition of shares in Epic remains subject to certain regulatory approvals and anti-trust clearances, the companies said.

The Race For Dominance

The news of Sony’s motion to acquire shares in Epic Games is of course being made known on the eve of the tech and video games giant’s release of its PlayStation 5 console later this year. Microsoft and Sony are currently engaged in an ever-intensifying race for new-console market dominance. Microsoft too, is getting ready to launch its new Xbox Series X this Thanksgiving Day.

Microsoft’s new Xbox Series X is said to be at least four times more powerful than its current Xbox One X console, and as such the type of raw performance Sony will want to gain the edge over in whatever way, shape or form possible.

Yet another likely cause for concern from Sony’s point of view would be Microsoft’s rumoured interest in acquiring Warner Bros.’ gaming unit, namely Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, which owns the popular videogame Mortal Kombat.

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