Sony invests £197million into Epic Games to cement business relationship

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Kyle Smith

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Although Sony’s contribution to Epic is small compared to the £13 billion organisation, this investment is a massive power-move for Sony in terms of building up business relationships. The investment has been classed as a merger of a shared mission to improve technology and gaming. The leaders of each organisation has made the following statement:

CEO of Sony, Kenichiro Yoshida has been quoted as stating the following about the Investment: “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”
Founder/CEO of Epic has stated the following: “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. Together we strive to build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike,”

In our eyes, this is a massive move for Sony as it gives them some tactical positions in their battle against rival Microsoft. Epic are owners of the massively huge Fortnite. Although, this is not where we think the key tactics will come from, but instead we think we will start to see Epics Unreal Engine being best optimised for the PlayStation 5. I mean, think about the Unreal 5 reveal, Epic seemed to be focused on the PS5 at that point already. The reason this can prove problematic for Xbox Series X is down to a few things in particular:

1. The Unreal Engine is one of the most used game engines out there. It is extremely accessible to developers and doesn’t give too harsh of a penalty to successful games that utilise it. This means that games that end up being built on the Unreal Engine in the future, for the Xbox Series X, could find themselves more difficult to optimise for the console pushing developers to chose the PS5 as the key console they optimise their game for.
2. The PS5s SSD speed is not something that the Xbox Series X (in its current form) cannot begin to rival. If Epic begins to add attractive features that supports that speed, we might see developers naturally building their games utilising the speed of the SSD, over the raw power of the Xbox Series X. Meaning you might find more games being built for PlayStation 5, and then being optimised for the Xbox Series X
3. If the Warner Brothers acquisition is truly along the way, and Microsoft do purchase them, WB have primarily used the Unreal Engine for their games, meaning Xbox might have to find themselves moving away from the Unreal Engine for future games.

Although be mindful the above points are purely our own view on matters, based on my own business knowledge in my trade. None of the above will be enough to even come close to stopping Xbox’s power against the PS5 and especially with the stronger marketing, but this move could certainly see a massive impact to them during the mid to later half of the next generation (as the Unreal 5 engine becomes more and more PS5 centric).

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