Epic Games Raises $2B for the Metaverse as Animoca Continues Acquisition Spree
UpOnly | Research #6: Epic Games bumper raise and Animoca Brands’ latest acquisition marks new industry heights
The race for who leads the emerging Metaverse world is heating up. This week, American video developer Epic Games raised $2 billion to pursue its Metaverse ambitions. Play-to-earn heavyweight Animoca Brands also doubled down on the industry with the acquisition of traditional game developer Eden Games. On a slightly negative note, BNBChain-based play-to-earn game WonderHero lost over $320,000 to a security breach.
This week’s UpOnly | Research brings you a comprehensive roundup of these developments. Notably, the Epic Games bumper raise makes it the latest game developer to outline clear visions for a Metaverse-rich future. This reinforces public confidence that the Metaverse is not just a passing fad, but a quickly-approaching reality.
Epic Games raises $2 billion from Sony and KIRKBI
Epic Games is one of the world's largest gaming ventures, famed for developing the Battle Royale game Fortnite. Fortnite has amassed over 350 million registered players since launching in 2017.
This week, Epic Games announced a $2 billion funding round with participation from Japanese conglomerate Sony Corporation and privately-held investment company KIRKBI. Both investors contributed $1 billion respectively.
In its official announcement, Epic Games notes that the new funding would "advance the company’s vision to build the Metaverse and support its continued growth." The large funding means Epic Games now ranks highly on the list of companies with the deepest pockets seeking to dominate the Metaverse. Epic Games has already announced a partnership with LEGO Group to build a Metaverse for kids.
It is unclear at this point whether Epic Games will be integrating blockchain and NFTs into its ecosystem. However, the company's CEO Tim Sweeney has in the past expressed disdain for the "walled garden" approach of existing internet companies like Google and Facebook. He supported the idea that Metaverse environments be owned by communities, a thesis that closely aligns with blockchain-based gaming. Only time will reveal if Epic Games will adopt blockchain, and which facets of the technology will prove useful in onboarding its vast audience to the world of Web3.
Animoca Brands acquires Eden Games for $16M
Animoca Brand's recent $5 billion valuation makes it one of the biggest players in the play-to-earn and Metaverse space. The Hong Kong-based company has been on an acquisition spree in the past month, adding several traditional gaming developers to its portfolio.
This week, Animoca Brands acquired long-running French racing game developer Eden Games for $16 million. Eden Games has been building racing games since 1998, including successful titles such as Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed and F1® Mobile Racing.
Eden Games will support Animoca Brands by contributing to its expertise and intellectual properties toward the development of the company's racing gaming titles. Racing games produced by Eden Games have amassed over 60 million downloads globally, heights that Animoca Brands will hope to eventually reach.
WonderHero Game Loses $320k to Exploit
WonderHero, a multi-chain play-to-earn game, suffered a security exploit on April 7th. WonderHero claims to have 11,000 users with its game live on BNBChain, Polygon, and Heco Chain, according to DappRadar.
The alleged attackers compromised private key signatures used to secure WonderHero's token mint function and created millions of $WND tokens. The tokens were dumped on Pancakeswap for a 720 BNB (appr. $320,000) profit, a move that also crashed the price of $WND by over 90%.
In the aftermath, WonderHero has pledged to refund all affected liquidity providers and have resumed its gaming services with compensation for players. However, it remains to be seen whether these measures will prove effective in keeping players or attracting new investors to WonderHero.
In summary, traditional gaming firms are pouring billions into building out the Metaverse, and existing gaming firms are doubling down on their play-to-earn positions. This trend suggests that the industry is laying a foundation for mainstream adoption in the near future.
Prospective investors and gamers in play-to-earn and Metaverse projects can tap into the potential windfall by choosing data-driven investment opportunities. UpOnly offers a comprehensive solution to this effect and will remain a key player as the industry matures.
UpOnly’s week in brief
UpOnly is a first-of-its kind data directory dedicated to providing insightful and actionable data on the play-to-earn and Metaverse gaming fields. Our solution addresses a market that is left largely uncovered by other data providers and we aim to become a one-stop-shop for gamers worldwide to identify the most lucrative play-to-earn and optimize their performance within these gamers. Alongside our data directory, we will launch a decentralized predictions platform that will allow anyone globally to bet on the outcome of play-to-earn and Metaverse gaming events.