Sony and KIRKBI, the company behind The LEGO Group, are teaming up to fund Epic Games’ new venture focused on the metaverse.
On April 11, Epic Games, an American video game development company, announced the raising of $2 billion —1 Billion USD from Sony and 1 Billion USD from KIRKBI — to build a metaverse.
According to Epic Games, the idea of a metaverse is not just hype. The gaming studio wants to create new experiences based on its already popular games and new projects. Epic Games sais that such major funding round aims to “advance the company’s vision to build the metaverse and support its continued growth.”
Epic games achieves a $32 billion valuation.
Thanks to this new investment, the company behind Fortnite achieved a valuation of $32 billion, allowing it to delve deeper into this new business model. The executive responsibilities remain the same, and Tim Sweeney remains as the company’s CEO.
Epic Games has not given more information about its plans so far. Still, its metaverse product would likely compete with already established decentralized alternatives, such as Decentraland and The Sandbox, which have attracted hundreds of investors and famous artists. Other centralized options, like Meta’s project, are also playing their cards.
Epic Games is also popular for being the studio behind Unreal engine, which isthe bread and butter of many video game developers, fiilmmakers and content creators. It offers multiple tools such as physics/lightning simulations, video editing, and animation rendering, among many other advantages. So it could be safe to say that it could play a significant role in the development of a metaverse.
Epic Games and LEGO Want a Metaverse That Helps Children to Become Good Individuals
Niels B Christiansen, CEO of The LEGO Group, said that children develop abilities like “creativity, collaboration, and communication through digital experiences thanks to both physical and digital games.” The corporation believes its team has a duty to create inspiring and beneficial content for all of society, helping children put their abilities to good use.
“We have a responsibility to make them (video games) safe, inspiring and beneficial for all. Just as we’ve protected children’s rights to safe physical play for generations, we are committed to doing the same for digital play. We look forward to working with Epic Games to shape this exciting and playful future.”
Tim Sweeney, CEO & Founder of Epic Games, emphasized that LEGO has “captivated the imaginations of kids and adults” for so many years, adding that building a metaverse with them will be “fun, entertaining, and made for kids and families.”
So far, Epic Games has not revealed what technology it will use to develop its metaverse. It is possible that the company goes for a centralized, non-blockchain model (like Meta’s) but the company has previously advocated for a pro-crypto model, allowing the release of many crypto games on its marketplace even though one of its direct competitors, Steam, decided to ban them.
So, it might be too early to rule out a decentralized Epicverse.