Epic Games, creator of kid-friendly gaming sensation Fortnite, has secured a funding round worth approximately US$1.25 billion from more than half a dozen companies.
KKR, Iconiq Capital, Smash Ventures, Vulcan Capital, aXiomatic, Kleiner Perkins and Lightspeed Venture Partners are Epic’s newest investors, and they join existing minority shareholders Disney, Tencent and Endeavor. With this additional support, the North Carolina-based company is now valued at more than US$15 billion.
The strategic partners’ combined strength across technology, entertainment, professional sports, eSports and live events is expected to bolster Epic’s growth, which continues to be driven by the Fortnite franchise.
Released in 2017, the game drops 100 players onto an island, where they can fight it out in a battle royale or team up to defeat a horde of monsters. According to the NPD Group, Fortnite surpassed US$1 billion in revenue in July, and contributed to a 40% lift in consumer spending on video gaming in the US for the first half of 2018.
The franchise is also making a big impact in the licensing world with partners including Hasbro (NERF Blasters, Monopoly: Fortnite Edition), McFarlane Toys (toys), Spirit Halloween and Spencer’s (costumes), Moose Toys (collectibles) and Jazwares (toys) signing on to launch products this year and into 2019.