On Thursday the two companies announced a strategic investment of $250 million, which they said 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.”
Epic will still be able to publish games and license its middleware on non-PlayStation platforms, it said.
The news follows Epic’s decision to premiere its Unreal Engine 5 technology with a demo running live on PlayStation 5.
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.”
On Thursday Sony and Epic said the strategic investment deal 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.
In a prepared statement, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney reiterated the ambition for the partnership to impact multiple forms of entertainment.
“Sony and Epic have both built businesses at the intersection of creativity and technology, and we share a vision of real-time 3D social experiences leading to a convergence of gaming, film, and music,” he said.
“Together we strive to build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike.”
Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida added: “Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics places them at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations. There’s no better example of this than the revolutionary entertainment experience, Fortnite.
“Through our investment, we will explore opportunities for further collaboration with Epic to delight and bring value to consumers and the industry at large, not only in games, but also across the rapidly evolving digital entertainment landscape.”