As businesses do when they want to become better pals, Sony and Epic Games have announced their intentions to work closer together with a press release and a price tag. Sony have made a "strategic investment" to acquire a minority interest in Epic to the tune of $250/£197.5 million. Suppose this explains why we saw that Unreal Engine 5 tech demo running on a PlayStation 5 eh?
“Epic’s powerful technology in areas such as graphics places them at the forefront of game engine development with Unreal Engine and other innovations," says Sony Corporation CEO Kenichiro Yoshida. "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.”
For his vows of business friendship, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney says "Sony and Epic have both built businesses at the intersection of creativity and technology, and we share a vision of real-time 3D social experiences leading to a convergence of gaming, film, and music. Together we strive to build an even more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators alike."
As Yoshida mentions, Sony produce a lot of entertainment outside of gaming. Epic's Unreal Engine has already been used for things like digital sets for the Star Wars: The Mandalorian show. With any luck, Sony's investment in Epic will push for new tech and tools outside of games that eventually find their way back to improve game development as well.