- Sony and Kirkkbi, Lego’s majority holder company, have invested $2 billion into Epic Games
- Epic wants to build a new metaverse, allowing for interaction between players, brands, and creators can interact
- Kirkkbi invests in “trends we believe will impact the future world that we and our children will live in”
Epic Games just received $2 billion in investments from Sony and Lego’s parent company to build a new metaverse project.
Sony and Kirkkbi Invest $2 Billion in Epic Games
Ever since Facebook renamed its parent company to Metaverse late last year, the word has become something of a buzzword among tech companies. It seems many companies now want to invest in virtual spaces. This trend has not skipped Epic Games, as the entertainment corporation has recently struck a deal with Sony and Kirkkbi, Lego’s parent company, for a whopping $2 billion to build a “family-friendly metaverse”.
“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,” reads Epic’s official statement.
Kirkbi, which is the holding company that owns The Lego Group, invested in Epic itself, not directly funding the metaverse project. Still, Kirkbi’s chief executive Søren Thorup Sørensen said that a portion of the money is going to be used on “trends we believe will impact the future world that we and our children will live in.”
From the side of Sony, its chief executive Kenichiro Yoshido said: “We are also confident that Epic’s expertise, including their powerful game engine, combined with Sony’s technologies, will accelerate our various efforts.”
What Does This Mean for Epic?
Following the likes of Facebook and Microsoft, Epic Games seems very keen on investing in the potential of virtual spaces like this. Up until now, Epic’s “metaverse” has largely taken place within Fortnite, where various partners have collaborated with the company to bring interesting content to the game. For example, Psyonix, Rocket League’s developers, collaborated with the company to bring players the opportunity to watch RLCS tournaments in-game.
Epic chief executive and founder Tim Sweeney commented that this investment will accelerate the work on the metaverse, noting that it will help Epic build spaces where “where players can have fun with friends, brands can build creative and immersive experiences, and creators can build a community and thrive.” This vision might even be brought to reality using the Unreal 5 Engine that Epic recently released.
Despite the investors' and recipients’ hype, the announcement was met with skepticism by the public. “Yet you still can't fix Fortnite,” wrote one commenter, while others point out that Facebook’s Metaverse is “a joke” or “bootleg VR chat”.
Despite the criticism, oftentimes bordering on ridicule, it seems companies will continue to invest in various virtual spaces – a trend brought about by the increased need for online work and communication that the last two years of the pandemic saw.