Epic Games, the developer behind Battle Royale title Fortnite, has reportedly received $1.25 billion (£976 million) in a funding round.
The American video game developer already owns Unreal Engine, development software used by game developers of all sizes.
It’s said that investors from the funding round include KKR, ICONIQ Capital, Smash Ventures, aXiomatic (which just received investment by Michael Jordan), Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. These companies join the likes of Disney, Endeavor, and Tencent and minority stakeholders in Epic Games.
Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Epic Games said the following in a statement: “We’re excited to partner with the finest minds in the financial, sports, and entertainment communities. 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.”
Fortnite has had a rocky road in esports so far, despite Epic Games pledging to put up $100 million in cash prizes for the 2018-2019 season. Tournaments have received criticisms for invite-only competition, in-game lag during high-stakes matches, forcing players to use specified peripherals and settings, and the format leaving up to 50 players in the latter stage of a match.
Epic Games’ title is free to play and is available on a wide variety of platforms, but it earns a lot of revenue through in-game micro transactions. In May 2018, it was reported that the developer earned $318 million (£248.2 million) in revenue.
Esports Insider says: Epic Games is having a dream year with Fortnite becoming the biggest game in the industry, earning unreal revenue and achieving high numbers in terms of viewership. This investment is ridiculous, though some people may question how much bigger the game can grow since it’s already dominated the market and earned mainstream exposure.