Fortnite and Unreal Engine 5 owner Epic Games receives $250 million investment from Sony ahead of PS5 launch

Unreal Engine 5
Unreal Engine 5 (Image credit: Epic Games)

What you need to know

  • Sony has invested $250 million into Epic Games.
  • Epic Games owns Fortnite and Unreal Engine.
  • This grants Sony a small minority stake in Epic Games.

A report from VentureBeat states that Sony has invested $250 into Epic Games. This grants the former a minority stake of undisclosed size in the latter. Tencent has previously invested in Epic Games, controlling a 40% interest.

Sony and Epic Games already had a close relationship, as Epic Games debuted nine minutes of Unreal Engine 5 technical test footage running natively on Sony's upcoming console, the PlayStation 5. Unreal Engine 5 is meant to replace Unreal Engine 4 and is set to be available in full sometime in late 2021, allowing developers to carry over projects.

Epic Games will continue to release multiplatform games, with Unreal Engine 5 available on all platforms. Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida made a statement on the investement, saying it was meant to keep Sony at the "forefront of game development." Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney stated that the two companies "shared a vision" of experiences in real-time 3D development.

Right now, it's somewhat unclear as to what this deal means exactly. It could mean that different PlayStation teams at Sony Worldwide Studios could start developing games using Unreal Engine 5. Traditionally, Sony's studios have preferred to use in-house technologies, such as the Decima engine developed by Guerrilla Games, which is being used in the upcoming Horizon Forbidden West.

The PS5 is set to release at some point in Holiday 2020.

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on PlayStation on Android Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert