Epic Games, creator and publisher of the massively popular “Fortnite” game, announced a $1.78 billion round of funding — which the company says gives it a post-money equity valuation of $17.3 billion.
The round includes the previously announced $250 million strategic investment from Sony Corp., under which Sony obtained a 1.4% stake in Epic. Following the closing of the funding round, Epic will remain controlled by founder and CEO Tim Sweeney.
Additional investors in Epic’s epic fundraise include Baillie Gifford, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Fidelity Management & Research Co., Lightspeed Venture Partners, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, and billionaire hedge-fund manager David Tepper. Existing investors KKR and Smash Ventures also participated, adding to their 2018 investment.
“Having the support of leaders in the financial community accelerates Epic’s efforts to build a new kind of digital ecosystem using real-time 3D technology, services that connect hundreds of millions of people, and a digital storefront that offers a fair business model. We are delighted to have them as part of the Epic family,” Sweeney said in a statement.
Credit Suisse and the Raine Group acted as joint placement agents to Epic, while law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati provided legal counsel to Epic.
Mega-popular battle royale title “Fortnite” has been building itself into more of an entertainment destination with the game’s Party Royale, which Epic Games calls “a new experimental and evolving space.” That has included screenings of three Christopher Nolan films on June 26 under an agreement with Warner Bros., and “Fortnite” also has featured virtual concerts from artists including Travis Scott — who broke attendance records — Marshmello and Deadmau5.
This past May, Epic Games said that “Fortnite,” a free-to-play game with in-app purchases and subscription options, had topped 350 million players worldwide. In 2019, “Fortnite” raked in $1.8 billion, making it the No. 1 game title worldwide in terms of revenue, according to research firm SuperData.