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 — Paul Doyle and Vladimir Mastilović — will speak on that topic at our upcoming GamesBeat Summit 2021 conference on April 28 and April 29.
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 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 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 edge technologies that support creators in gaming and across the digital entertainment industry. He said Sony is excited to collaborate and bring new entertainment experiences to the world.