I have not been shy with voicing my admiration for Epic Games and its founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney. When Steam banned blockchain games, crypto, and NFTs from its platform, I wrote how it felt like a betrayal of the indie developers that have developed a symbiotic relationship with Steam. Sweeney was immediately vocal:
Sony and Lego Back Fortnite and Unreal Engine Creator
Well, Epic Games has announced a $2 billion funding round, with Sony investing $1b and KIRKBI, the investment company behind LEGO, investing the other $1b.
In this announcement, Tim Sweeney points out that the money will be used to accelerate the building of a metaverse; a space where “players can have fun with friends, brands can build creative and immersive experiences and creators can build a community and thrive.”
We still do not know what that will look like, nor do we know really what any major brand imagines when they say the word “metaverse”, but of the big hitters interested in building in the space, Sweeney is who I’d feel most comfortable backing. His history, experience, and track-record of innovation in gaming have been foundational to the growth of the industry, let alone Epic’s success.
Sony has already been throwing in with blockchain in general in various ways, including the recent vIRL drop for LinkBuds with WAX. LEGO, on the other hand, is more of a surprising addition, though I can’t speak to KIRKBI’s investing patterns and how much of an involvement the LEGO brand will play.
Whatever the case, the evidence for a metaverse and for blockchain’s involvement in mainstream gaming is utterly overwhelming at this point. We have exciting days ahead.
Lead image of S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 by Epic Games using the incredible Unreal Engine 5