CARY – Epic Games is looking to raise as much as $1 billion in new capital while at the same time caving to Google, deciding to release its globally popular Fortnite through the official Play Store.
The privately held entertainment and technology firm raised more than $1 billion as 2018 came to a close, the largest private equity round ever for a North Carolina company. Now it’s looking to raise between $500 million and $1 billion, according to a report from Bloomberg news.
If the fundraiser happens, Epic’s valuation would increase substantially beyond the estimated $15 billion that PitchBook, Bloomberg and others estimated just over a year ago.
Investors may be interested due to the ongoing popularity of Fortnite as well as Houseparty, the group video-chat app that is seeing skyrocketing demand due to the coronavirus, PitchBook reports.
Fortnite could get another big infusion of players over the next several days as it hosts a song premier from popular rapper Travis Scott.
Epic vs. Google
Another move that could mean more Fortnite growth is Epic’s decision to end an 18-month fight and release the game through Google’s official.
Fighting’s Google’s demand for a 30 percent share of revenues, Epic instead went a third-party route with its billionaire CEO Tim Sweeney being especially vocal in his critism of Google. However, in a statement Tuesday, Epic announced the surrender.
“After 18 months of operating Fortnite on Android outside of the Google Play Store, we’ve come to a basic realization,” reads Epic’s statement. “Google puts software downloadable outside of Google Play at a disadvantage, through technical and business measures such as scary, repetitive security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software, restrictive manufacturer and carrier agreements and dealings, Google public relations characterizing third party software sources as malware, and new efforts such as Google Play Protect to outright block software obtained outside the Google Play store.”
However, Epic said it still hopes Google will relent on the revenue share.
“We hope that Google will revise its policies and business dealings in the near future, so that all developers are free to reach and engage in commerce with customers on Android and in the Play Store through open services, including payment services, that can compete on a level playing field,” Epic said.