Fortnite creator Epic Games' valuation jumps to $29 billion

This illustration image exhibits an individual ready for an replace of Epic Games’ Fortnite on their smartphone in Los Angeles on August 14, 2020.

Chris Delmas | AFP | Getty Images

Epic Games, developer of the favored online game Fortnite, on Tuesday mentioned it raised $1 billion in a brand new spherical of funding that lifts the corporate’s valuation to $28.7 billion.

The Cary, North Carolina-based agency said that $200 million of the recent money raised got here from Sony, which had initially invested within the firm final yr. Other buyers within the spherical included Appaloosa, Baillie Gifford and Fidelity. Epic’s newest market worth represents a 66% enhance from what it was value in a $1.8 billion deal final yr.

“We are grateful to our new and existing investors who support our vision for Epic and the Metaverse,” mentioned Tim Sweeney, CEO and founding father of Epic Games.

“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.” 

Sweeney stays the controlling shareholder of the corporate, Epic mentioned. Credit Suisse and BofA Securities acted as joint placements to Epic in its newest financing spherical, Epic mentioned, whereas Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati supplied authorized counsel.

Epic is a significant participant within the video video games trade. Its battle royale title Fortnite rapidly turned a success when it launched in 2017 and is now a cultural phenomenon, with hundreds of thousands of individuals watching others taking part in the sport on streaming platforms and celebrities and influencers selling it on-line.

But Epic is thought for extra than simply Fortnite. The firm’s Unreal sport engine software program powers most of the world’s high video games. It additionally performed a job within the film industry’s shift to virtual production throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Epic is betting large on the so-called “metaverse,” a casual time period used to describe a collaborative and immersive digital world. Fortnite has hosted large digital live shows with artists like Travis Scott and Marshmello, for instance. Other corporations, together with Microsoft and Roblox, are additionally investing closely on this development.

And Epic has been increasing into different areas, together with PC video games distribution with its Epic Games Store — a rival to Valve’s Steam — in addition to new content material. Last month, Epic announced it had bought Mediatonic, the British studio behind Fall Guys. That sport turned an instantaneous hit when it launched final summer season, attracting hundreds of thousands of gamers caught at house due to Covid restrictions.

Over the final yr, nonetheless, Epic has primarily drawn headlines due to its authorized battle with Apple over the latter’s app retailer insurance policies. Epic tried to keep away from Apple’s 30% App Store price via a software program replace that successfully bypassed the Cupertino, California-based firm’s personal funds system. Apple responded by eradicating Fortnite from its App Store.

Last week, the 2 corporations laid out in separate filings what they contemplate to be the important thing information and major authorized points forward of a highly-anticipated antitrust trial that is slated to begin subsequent month.