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Fortnite Maker Epic Gets $2 Billion From Sony, Lego Owner

Attendees walk past signage for Epic Games Inc. Fortnite video game during the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. For three days, leading-edge companies, groundbreaking new technologies and never-before-seen products are showcased at E3. Photographer: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg

Sony Group Corp. and the owner of the Lego Group invested $2 billion in Epic Games Inc., the maker of Fortnite.

Epic is valued at $31.5 billion after the investment, the Cary, North Carolina-based company said Monday in a statement. Epic’s valuation about a year ago was $28.7 billion.

The game company, among the most valuable startups in the U.S., is currently waging a costly legal battle with Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc. over fees charged by their app stores. Epic runs its own app store, the Epic Games Store, and alleges that Apple and Alphabet’s Google engage in anti-competitive practices. In September, a California judge found Apple not guilty on nine of 10 counts; Epic is appealing the case.

In addition to producing Fortnite, which has hundreds of millions of registered users, Epic Games also makes one of the most popular game engines, Unreal Engine. Last week, Epic released Unreal Engine 5.

Sony, which works with Epic on the PlayStation and already owned a stake in the company, and Kirkbi, the family-owned holding company behind the Lego toy brand, each invested $1 billion in the new deal. “All three companies highly value both creators and players, and aim to create new social entertainment exploring the connection between digital and physical worlds,” according to the statement.

Last week, Epic said it’s making a “digital experience for kids of all ages” with Lego. Details on the virtual experience remain sparse, but Epic and Lego emphasized it would be a “safe and positive space” for kids to play online.

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