Who’s going to win the next console generation? Microsoft with their superior infrastructure? Sony with their incredible talent for providing hardware that stands the test of time? Answer: Epic Games. Video games sell a console, and with the majority of developers making use of Epic’s Unreal engine, the home of Fortnite and the birthplace of big beefy boys in Gears of War has a dominant stake in the software ecosystem.
While other game engines do exist (Think the underrated Unity, EA’s Frostbite engine or the amazing Decima engine), nothing comes close to Epic’s architecture which can be used to seemingly make any game. In the right hands, developers can create realistic worlds full of authentic textures and characters, or they can slap reality in the face with anime fisticuffs that’ll tear your screen in half with a Spirit Bomb attack.
There’s…unreal value in the engine, and Sony has realised that the key to market dominance, may be a bigger stake in Epic Games. A stake that cost them $250 million. According to a joint announcement from both Sony and Epic Games, the partnership will allow for plenty of buzzword-laden quotes copied and pasted below by the time you finish reading this sentence:
Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics places them at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations. There’s no better example of this than the revolutionary entertainment experience, Fortnite. Through our investment, we will explore opportunities for further collaboration with Epic to delight and bring value to consumers and the industry at large, not only in games, but also across the rapidly evolving digital entertainment landscape.
Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Corporation
While the easy money is on Sony banking on Fortnite deals and microtransactions being a solid money-earner (According to Avengers: Endgame, Fortnite will still be mega-popular even after te world has had a 50% snappening sale), I’d wager that Sony is looking to have a more optimised future with the PlayStation 5. “The Unreal Engine 5 demo on PlayStation 5 was the culmination of years of discussions between Sony and Epic on future graphics and storage architectures,” Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said back in May:
And while I doubt this move will leave Microsoft in the cold with the Xbox Series X, having Unreal Engine powered games run best on their console is still a savvy marketing move in the long run.
Last Updated: July 10, 2020