Epic Games, the company that developed the runaway hit Fortnite, challenged Apple's App Store rules by offering its own in-app payment platform, and is taking Apple to court after Fortnite was tossed from the App Store, was just valued at $28.7 billion during a new round of financing. Epic is raising $1 billion during this financing round. Minority investor Sony will toss in an additional $200 million while Reuters reports that funds are also coming from investors like Appaloosa, Baillie Gifford, and KKR & Co Inc.
Even after the upcoming round of financing is complete, Epic Chief Executive Officer Tim Sweeney will remain the controlling stockholder in the company. Talking about the firms that will cough up the $1 billion being invested in Epic, the executive said, "Their investment will help accelerate our work around building connected social experiences in Fortnite, Rocket League and Fall Guys, while empowering game developers and creators with Unreal Engine, Epic Online Services and the Epic Games Store."
Last year, Japanese electronics firm Sony dropped a cool quarter of a billion into Epic. In 2018, Epic raised $1.25 billion from investors including private equity firm KKR. Epic claims to have more than 160 million users on its PC Store.
Epic brazenly offered Fortnite users its own platform to pay for in-game currency which helped it avoid the 30% cut that Apple receives from in-app purchases. But this violated Apple's App Store regulations and the game was removed from the iOS storefront leading Epic to sue Apple alleging antitrust violations. Last week, Apple revealed some of its legal strategy, which is to testify that it faces heavy competition in the market for in-app transactions.
Epic launched Fortnite in 2017 and the free-to-play game has become quite popular among youngsters.