Yesterday it was announced that Sony had acquired a minor stake in Epic Games, who are known mostly for their success with Fortnite, development on the Unreal Engine, and the controversial storefront that keeps giving us free games every week.
The $250 million investment will see the two companies “broaden their collaboration” between Sony’s extensive portfolio of assets, and Epic’s digital ecosystem to “create unique experiences for consumers and creators.”
There’s a lot to unpack here from this statement, but here’s what the two CEO’s of each company had to say about the deal:
“Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics places them at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, CEO of Sony. “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.”
Founder and CEO of Epic Games Tim Sweeney said: “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 a more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike.”
This poses a lot of questions currently; most notably that Sony are starting to bring their console exclusives to the PC platform with Death Stranding launching in a few days and Horizon: Zero Dawn releasing next month, and with the Epic Games Store desperate for some exclusives, it wouldn’t exactly be far-fetched to see more of Sony’s console exclusives released solely on Epic’s platform.
There’s also the fact that Epic debuted the Unreal Engine 5 tech demo specifically on Sony’s next-gen PlayStation 5 console, so we might be seeing more demos/experiences in the future utilizing the PS5’s technology. Possibly there might be some sort of collaboration between Sony and Unreal Engine? It certainly raises a lot of questions.
Finally, it’s clear that the partnership is going beyond just video games, as Sony is rather large in the movie industry. This does provide certain benefits like access to film-quality assets from big budget films, or vice versa since Unreal Engine is being used for a lot of visual effects in the movie/TV industry. But Sweeney’s comment on “real-time 3D social experiences” and “a convergence of gaming, film, and music” really makes you think huh?
What do you think? Could we see Sony exclusives on the Epic Games Store? What could happen as a result of this collaboration? And what could the two companies possibly have plans for beyond video games? Let us know your thoughts!