From Sports Pro Media:
- Other investors in latest round included Appaloosa, Baillie Gifford, BlackRock and KKR
- CEO Tim Sweeney remains controlling shareholder
- Sony pumped US$250m into video game developer last year
Video game developer Epic Games has completed a US$1 billion round of funding, giving the company a massive equity valuation of US$28.7 billion.
The latest round includes a US$200 million investment from Japanese conglomerate Sony, which already pumped US$250 million into Epic last July. At the time, that gave Epic an implied valuation of US$17.9 billion.
Epic, which is behind the smash-hit Fortnite game, said Sony’s increased involvement reinforces both parties’ ‘shared mission to advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially-connected online services’.
Other investors in Epic’s latest funding round included Appaloosa, Baillie Gifford and Fidelity. There was also participation from funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, in addition to funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Park West, KKR, AllianceBernstein, Altimeter, Franklin Templeton and Luxor Capital.
Credit Suisse and BofA Securities acted as joint placement agents to Epic, while Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati provided legal counsel.
Announcing the investment, Epic said that it continues to have only a single class of common stock outstanding and that founder and chief executive 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. “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.”
Kenichiro Yoshida, chairman, president and chief executive at Sony Group Corporation, added: “Epic continues to deliver revolutionary experiences through their array of cutting edge technologies that support creators in gaming and across the digital entertainment industry.
“We are excited to strengthen our collaboration to bring new entertainment experiences to people around the world. I strongly believe that this aligns with our purpose to fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology.”
In other gaming news, esports organisation OverActive Media has announced a second closing on its private placement, bringing its aggregate gross proceeds to over US$40 million.
The investment sees the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Montreal Canadiens join OverActive Media’s ownership group, marking the first time the franchise has entered the esports space.
In addition, two more NHL players have come onboard as owners – the Arizona Coyotes’ Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin of the Washington Capitals. They join Toronto Maple Leafs player Mitch Marner, who invested in OverActive Media last year.