Sony Group Corporation and KIRKBI, the holding and investment company behind LEGO, have invested $1 billion each in Epic Games for a total of a $2 billion round of funding, Epic Games announced today. The stated purpose behind the investment is "to advance the company's vision to build the metaverse and support its continued growth." The announcement indicates that all three companies are dedicated to "exploring the connection between digital and physical worlds." What that functionally looks like remains to be seen.
"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 of Epic Games, as part of the announcement. "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."
Announcing a $2 billion funding round with Sony and KIRKBI to build the future of digital entertainment. https://t.co/V0bcFftNkg— Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom) April 11, 2022
Per Epic Games, the company continues to only have a single class of common stock outstanding and remains controlled by Sweeney. Following the investment, Epic Games' post-money equity valuation is $31.5 billion, though the closing of it is still subject to all the usual closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
"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," added Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO of Sony Group Corporation, as part of the same announcement. "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 of KIRKBI, as part of the same announcement. "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."
The news of the $2 billion investment comes after Epic Games announced a long-term partnership with The LEGO Group just last week. The goal of that partnership when announced was making "the future of the metaverse to make it safe and fun for children and families."
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