Epic’s intentions to create a metaverse just got a big boost: the Fortnite developer announced a $2 billion round of investment today, which would be used “to promote the firm’s goal to establish the metaverse and support its continuing expansion,” according to the company.
Sony, which has previously invested in Epic, and KIRKBI, an investment organization run by the Kirk Kristiansen family, who established the Lego Group, are among the investors. Epic and Lego just announced a partnership to create a family-friendly take on the metaverse last week, albeit little information was provided. According to a news statement, Sony and KIRKBI each contributed $1 billion to the most recent round of finance.
Epic has been a huge proponent of the idea of a linked virtual world through platforms like Fortnite and its Unreal Engine game-making toolkit. (The metaverse notion was also mentioned in the Epic v. Apple lawsuit last year.) Sony, on the other hand, made a significant push into vast virtual worlds earlier this year when it purchased Destiny creator Bungie.
In a statement, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney stated, “This investment will expedite our efforts to construct the metaverse and create areas where gamers can have fun with friends, advertisers can offer innovative and immersive experiences, and creators can establish a community and prosper.”
Right now, the metaverse is mostly just a concept in the minds of tech CEOs, though Fortnite is arguably the closest thing we have to that vision right now, thanks to virtual events like concerts and a slew of pop culture tie-ins ranging from Marvel characters to professional athletes to, most recently, the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.