Fortnite developer Epic Games raises $1.25bn from KKR

in Finance

The developer of online gaming free-for-all Fortnite has raised $1.25bn (£1bn) from private equity backers as it looks to expand into esports and live gaming events.

Fortnite has proved an addictive hit drawing in more than 78 million players each month with fans including football star Dele Alli and the rapper Drake.

Its developer, Epic Games, secured the funding from private equity giant KKR. The firm joins current investors Tencent and Disney, taking a minority stake. Epic continues to be controlled by chief executive Tim Sweeney.

Mr Sweeney said: "We’re excited to partner with the finest minds in the financial, sports, and entertainment communities. This reinforces Epic’s position of leadership in real-time 3D technology, and accelerates our ability to improve the way people play, work, and interact with the world."

Fortnite grew into a viral gaming hit last year, mainly for its "Battle Royale" mode, a game that pits one hundred players against each other in a fight to the last survivor.

The game uses cartoon-like graphics that have appealed to younger users, while it has also proved popular as a competitive game for professional video game streamers who are watched by hundreds of thousands of fans.

Fortnite is free to play and can be accessed by users from PCs, gaming consoles and, as of this summer, on mobile phones. The explosive growth has been driven in part by this "cross play" element. 

The game makers profit through the system of rewards, or "skins", that players buy for their characters in the game. Analysts predict Epic will make $2bn from Fornite this year alone. 

The deal will see Epic valued at $15bn, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, some online views of Fortnite have begun to slow down on streaming sites. Meanwhile, game maker Take-Two released its hotly anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2, which could draw in some gaming fans ahead of Christmas sales.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/10/27/fortnite-developer-epic-games-raises-125bn-kkr/