Things just keep getting better for Epic Games. Japanese gaming and electronics giant Sony just announced that they are putting up no less than $250 million in an investment in the Fortnite maker and it has industry tongues wagging with speculation.
Could this be a power move on Sony’s part to secure Fortnite exclusivity moving into the next generation? Who knows but if speculation could power a city, we’ve got enough for the whole US East Coast from this story alone.
Polygon quotes the official press release on the deal which said that the two companies wanted to “broaden their collaboration across Sony’s leading portfolio of entertainment assets and technology, and Epic’s social entertainment platform and digital ecosystem to create unique experiences for consumers and creators.”
While that is vague in and of itself, it could also speak to other possibilities outside of the next console generation. Sony could be looking for a partner in the PC gaming space. You know, one that could sell their exclusives to a ready and waiting PC audience.
CEO of Sony Corporation Kenichiro Yoshida said of the investment, “Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics places them at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations. There’s no better example of this than the revolutionary entertainment experience, Fortnite. Through our investment, we will explore opportunities for further collaboration with Epic to delight and bring value to consumers and the industry at large, not only in games, but also across the rapidly evolving digital entertainment landscape.”
“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. Together we strive to build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike,” Founder and CEO of Epic Tim Sweeney remarked of Sony’s contribution.
You have to hand it to them, Epic knows how to make big moves in the video game industry and do they ever garner attention. From securing exclusives to paving the way for a monetized-everything future, Epic’s influence on the current direction of video games cannot be denied.
Still, one does have to wonder where Sony’s head is in all of this. It can’t just be about one thing over all else but Fortnite’s popularity (and ability to make money) means that Epic is playing with a powerful deck. One salient fact of the past five years or so of Sony’s run is that much of the PlayStation 4’s staying power comes from the fact that the console commands one of the most impressive libraries of exclusive games for this generation.
As we move closer to the next generation systems, it looks like Sony is going to double down on that strategy and is even reaching out to other companies, like Epic, in aggressive ways to do just that. Even timed exclusives are better than nothing at all.