Epic Games has received a monumental funding of about $1.25 billion. Investors include KKR, ICONIQ Capital, Smash Ventures, aXiomatic, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Thanks to Fortnite, Epic Games is enjoying a lot of success. The battle royale experience is a giant hit on PC, consoles, and mobile. The free-to-play game has earned hundreds of millions of downloads and over $1 billion in revenue. And on Android, Epic Games has bypassed Google by not listing Fortnite on the Google Play store, meaning Epic Games doesn’t have to give Google a share of the money earned.
According to Digi-Capital, this is the second largest games investment in history, following the $2.3 billion Netmarble earned in 2017 via IPO (initial public offering). Epic’s is the highest non-IPO investment ever.
The new investors join Disney, Tencent, and Endeavor as minority shareholders in the company.
“We’re excited to partner with the finest minds in the financial, sports, and entertainment communities,” Epic Games founder and chief executive officer Tim Sweeney noted in a press release sent to GamesBeat. “This reinforces Epic’s position of leadership in real-time 3D technology, and accelerates our ability to improve the way people play, work, and interact with the world.”
This $1.25 billion is a massive amount to earn in an investment round. To give you a comparison, Roblox raised $150 million in September. The huge $1.25 billion number is a reflection on Fortnite’s success. Magic Leap, a company that is developing augment reality technology beyond gaming needs, has raised $2.3 billion over five rounds.
Along with Fortnite, Epic Games develops the Unreal Engine. It licenses the game-making tools to other companies, and it has become one of the most popular game engines in the world along with its main competitor, Unity. In 2018, Dragon Ball Fighterz, Sea of Thieves, Soul Calibur VI, and Dragon Quest XI were among the major games created with Unreal Engine 4.
Fortnite debuted in 2017. The game started by focusing on a cooperative mode, Save the World, where a team of players builds a fort and fights off zombies. Later in 2017, Fortnite capitalized on the success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and made a battle royale mode for Fornite. Like PUBG, Fortnite’s battle royale offering drops a hundred players into a large map and has them fight until one person or team is left standing. Compared to PUBG, Fortnite has a more colorful aesthetic, and it puts an emphasis on players building their own forts. Because players can make their own cover, Fortnite is a much faster-paced game.
The battle royale mode quickly surpassed Save the World. Fortnite has dominated 2018, turning into a mainstream success and expanding its reach to mobile and consoles (including Switch).