Epic Games said today it has raised $1 billion in a new round of funding in its bid to build the metaverse. The universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One.
The company said the money will enable it to support future. Growth opportunities, and it places Epic’s equity valuation at $28.7 billion.
This round includes an additional $200 million strategic investment from Sony. This builds on the already close relationship between the two companies. And reinforces their goals to advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially- connected online services. One of the keys to the metaverse will be making realistic animated digital humans, and two of Epic’s leaders.
Other investment partners include Appaloosa, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, GIC, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, funds and also accounts managed by. BlackRock, Park West, KKR, AllianceBernstein, Altimeter, Franklin Templeton, and Luxor Capital.
Epic continues to have only a single class of common stock outstanding and. CEO Tim Sweeney remains the controlling shareholder of the company.
“We are grateful to our new and existing investors who support our vision for. Epic and the Metaverse,” said Sweeney in a statement. “Their investment will also help accelerate our work around building connected social experiences in. Fortnite, Rocket League, and Fall Guys, while empowering game developers and creators with. Unreal Engine, Epic Online Services, and the Epic Games Store.”
Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said in a statement that Epic continues to deliver revolutionary experiences. Through their array of cutting also edge technologies that support creators in gaming and across the digital entertainment industry. He said Sony is excited to collaborate also and bring new entertainment experiences to the world.
Some fiction (like Star Trek‘s holodeck) focused on making the metaverse photorealistic with outstanding graphics. Epic Games has been pushed its Unreal tool in that direction. But he added, “There are different threads because if you look. At the leading contenders right now, none of them are photorealistic.”
Fortnite has been bringing brands into its universe in an art style. That matches the game world, which is more cartoon-like. In the future, those brand assets also could be automatically. Stylized to match the world that they’re going to be used in.
If the metaverse is open, each company will still want to own some things.
“The principle here is every creator owns their original creations. And has the right to make the profit from them,” Sweeney said. “And it’s great to choose service providers they choose. To work with, without being forced to accept a massive bundle of services in order to reach the customer base. We want each component of the system to stand. On its own merits and also not use dominance or significant market power in any space to force adoption.”
Epic owns Fortnite and the Unreal Engine, which anyone can licensed. You can use that engine to create anything you want, and. Epic has zero also say in what you can build. Stay tuned to worldleadersummit.com for more updates on this topic.