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Epic Games secures $1bn funding, including $200m from Sony

To support "long-term vision for the Metaverse".

Fortnite maker Epic Games has scooped together $1bn in funding to help its "long-term vision for the Metaverse".

A fifth of that - $200m - comes from PlayStation owner Sony, and will apparently cement its already-close relationship with Epic further.

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In a press release, Epic listed more than a dozen non-gaming companies which had collectively pumped in that $1bn. Sony, which frequently gives out free Fortnite cosmetics via PlayStation Plus, got a special mention:

"This round includes an additional $200m strategic investment from Sony Group Corporation," Epic wrote, "which builds on the already close relationship between the two companies and reinforces their shared mission to advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially-connected online services."

Epic said it was now worth $28.7bn, and noted its boss Tim Sweeney remained the controlling shareholder.

"We are grateful to our new and existing investors who support our vision for Epic and the Metaverse," Sweeney said. "Their investment will help accelerate our work around building connected social experiences in Fortnite, Rocket League and Fall Guys, while empowering game developers and creators with Unreal Engine, Epic Online Services and the Epic Games Store."

While a metaverse similar to Ready Player One may still seem like fantasy, Epic Games has been clear for years that this is where its sights are set. Fortnite has broken down platform holder walls around cross-play, brought together rival brands through collaborations and seemingly no-one (except Nintendo) is immune to being included.

Earlier today, PlayStation announced its latest Fortnite collaboration: the arrival of Horizon Zero Dawn star Aloy, following Kratos' debut last year. For Fortnite, this is another big name joining its roster of film, TV and gaming stars. For Sony, this will be Aloy's debut appearance on Nintendo and Xbox platforms - which is brilliant marketing exposure for the brand ahead of Horizon's upcoming sequel.