Epic Games is finishing up a $750 million round of funding, valuing the video game company at $17 billion. Epic is the developer of Fortnite and recently acquired the networking app Houseparty.
The round has brought in new investors like asset managers T. Rowe Price and Baillie Gifford, while others are increasing their investments such as KKR. Epic had been previously valued at $15 billion in 2018. Other Epic investors include Chinese internet firm Tencent – which owns 40% – as well as Walt Disney Co. and aXiomatic Gaming. Endeavor also owns an estimated $100 million stake in the company, but is reportedly looking to sell it.
The investment in the developer comes at a time when video games have surged – the industry had its best May in more than a decade with $977 million in sales. Fortnite has also enjoyed massive success in recent months as the free-to-play battle royale game reported 350 million registered users in May, an increase of 100 million compared to 2019. Those users played 3.2 billion hours in April.
Fortnite is aiming to be more than a game, however, as more than 28 million users watched a virtual Travis Scott concert in April and a trailer for Christopher Nolan’s new movie Tenet debuted in the game. The game’s latest in-game event was capped at 12 million users while another 8.4 million watched on Twitch.