Epic Games announced a $2 billion round of funding to advance the company’s vision to build the metaverse and support its continued growth.
This round includes investments from existing investor Sony Group Corporation as well as KIRKBI, the family-owned holding and investment company behind The LEGO Group, with each party investing $1 billion respectively. All three companies highly value both creators and players, and aim to create new social entertainment exploring the connection between digital and physical worlds. Epic continues to have only a single class of common stock outstanding and remains controlled by its CEO and founder, Tim Sweeney.
“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.” said Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Group Corporation. “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.”
“Epic Games is known for building playful and creative experiences and empowering creators large and small,” said Søren Thorup Sørensen, CEO, KIRKBI. “A proportion of our investments is focused on trends we believe will impact the future world that we and our children will live in. 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.”
“As we reimagine the future of entertainment and play we need partners who share our vision. We have found this in our partnership with Sony and KIRKBI,” said Tim Sweeney, CEO and Founder, Epic Games. “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’s post-money equity valuation is $31.5 billion. The closing of the investment is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Epic Games is planning to use the investment to advance its vision to build the metaverse and support its continued growth. As part of its metaverse play, Epic Games announced a long-term partnership with the KIRKBI-owned Lego Group to work on a digital experience for kids in the metaverse.
Following the investment, Epic Games’ founder and CEO Tim Sweeney will remain in control of the company, which is best known for its battle royale game Fortnite. It became one of the most popular games in 2018 and Epic Games used the title’s popularity to create its first large-scale metaverse play by introducing live events such as a Travis Scott concert and integrating virtual assets of non-Epic IP. Additionally, Epic Games provides the Unreal game engine, a platform several popular games are built on (and has potential for broadcasting both traditional sports broadcasts and esports) and owns popular esports title Rocket League developer Psyonix.
Lego and Epic Games
The LEGO Group and Epic Games today announced they are entering a long-term partnership to shape the future of the metaverse to make it safe and fun for children and families. The two companies will team up to build an immersive, creatively inspiring and engaging digital experience for kids of all ages to enjoy together.
The family-friendly digital experience will give kids access to tools that will empower them to become confident creators and deliver amazing play opportunities in a safe and positive space.
or 90 years the LEGO Group has inspired generations of children through play through the endless creative possibilities of the LEGO brick, which remains the core of its business. The company is a leader in defining safe digital play experiences for children including the development of an industry-standard Digital Child Safety Policy with UNICEF and the 2016 launch of the first fully live moderated social app for children.
The LEGO Group and Epic Games have agreed to three principles which will ensure the digital spaces they develop deliver engaging play opportunities safely:
- Protect children’s right to play by making safety and wellbeing a priority.
- Safeguard children’s privacy by putting their best interests first.
- Empower children and adults with tools that give them control over their digital experience.