Epic raises $2 billion to officially build metaverse
Future. Epic Games raised $2 billion to build out a metaverse that is both fun and safe for kids, staking out a niché space in the soon-to-be interconnected experiential internet. While Roblox and Minecraft will undoubtedly compete with Epic’s Fortnite to capture kids’ attention in the metaverse, Epic’s VFX platform, the newly updated Unreal Engine 5, could make its space the most lifelike of them all.
Fortnite-maker Epic Games is planning to expand the boundaries of the battle royale.
- The company has raised $2 billion from Sony and Lego parent-company Kirkbi.
- The funding gives Epic a valuation of $31.5 billion.
- The money will be used to build a kid-friendly metaverse… and also fund some growth, of course.
CEO Tim Sweeney said the goal is to construct a digital realm for the company to create spaces where players can have fun with friends, where brands can build creative and immersive experiences, and where creators can build a community and thrive.”
The announcement comes mere days after Epic and Lego jointly announced that they would be building a metaverse for kids. Now we know there’s a big dollar sign behind it.
Keep your hands to yourself
Epic’s ambition to make a kid-friendly metaverse (or any metaverse, for that matter) is an obvious evolution. When the pandemic hit and in-person events went kaput, Fortnite became one of the most popular destinations for virtual experiences — driven by Travis Scott’s paradigm-shifting concert, Astronomical. Since then, Fortnite has expanded its “Party Worlds” that are entirely focused on social entertainment.
By most companies’ definition of a metaverse, Fortnite is already one. Although, what Epic means by “kid-friendly” is vague. The company probably just wants to avoid many of the issues that are already plaguing other virtual platforms so parents feel better about letting their kids loose in an all-virtual world that is meant to replicate the behaviors of our own.