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Epic CEO responds to claims Sony investment influenced positive PS5 comments
Sweeney insists “serious” talks started after PS5 demo
Epic Games’ CEO has claimed that “serious investment discussions” with Sony only started after it had premiered its PlayStation 5 Unreal Engine demo in May.
The two companies announced on Thursday that Sony had acquired a minority stake in the Fortnite developer in a $250m deal.
Epic had previously spoken in glowing terms about Sony’s next-gen console, calling PS5 “a masterpiece of systems design” and even claiming it could influence the future of PC tech.
However, in a tweet published following Thursday’s investment news, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney suggested his prior comments about PS5 were not influenced “by some secret deal.”
“Yes, here’s what I said back in May,” he wrote, quoting an earlier tweet in which he denied claims Epic’s promotion of PS5 was influenced by a possible marketing deal.
“Serious investment discussions followed from the Unreal Engine 5 demo we showed on PlayStation 5. I guess they liked it!”
Premiered in May, Epic’s Lumen in the Land of Nanite was described as “a real-time demo running live on PlayStation 5”
According to the Fortnite developer, the large and detailed scenes in the Lumen video were thanks to PlayStation 5’s dramatic increase in storage bandwidth, which allowed its artists to use “film-quality objects” of up to hundreds of millions of polygons.
On Thursday Sony and Epic said their strategic investment would cement “an already close relationship” and reinforce their “shared mission to advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially-connected online services.”
The pair said the arrangement would allow them to broaden their collaboration across all of Sony’s entertainment assets. Epic’s Unreal technology has been leveraged by high profile film and television projects, most recently LucasFilm’s The Mandalorian.
The announcement also referred to Epic’s “social entertainment platform and digital ecosystem.” The company regularly holds hugely popular live events within Fortnite with film and music content, while it’s also the owner of the Epic Games Store.
Epic will still be able to publish games and license its middleware on non-PlayStation platforms, it said.
According to Epic’s CEO, the company has been working closely with Sony for some time on its next-gen console plans, which include a high-bandwidth SSD said to be able to load 2GB of data in one-quarter of a second.
In a tweet published shortly after the UE5 premiere, Sweeney reiterated that the technology showcased in the Unreal Engine 5 demo would run on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X “and will be awesome on both.”