Gameplay of the hit battle royale game from Mediatonic Fall Guys.
LONDON – Fortnite developer Epic Games has agreed to acquire Tonic Games Group, the British firm behind the hit video game Fall Guys.
Fall Guys became an instant hit when it launched last summer, attracting millions of players within a month of its release. In the game, up to 60 people play as jelly beans competing to traverse a series of candy-colored obstacle courses to earn crowns, in-game currency that players then use to purchase cosmetic items.
It was helped in large part by a wave of demand for video games during the coronavirus pandemic. The deal with Epic comes amid a slew of acquisitions in the gaming industry. Last year, Microsoft agreed to buy the iconic gaming group Bethesda for $ 7.5 billion, while EA recently closed its $ 1.2 billion acquisition of British racing game maker Codemasters.
“It is no secret that Epic is investing in the construction of the metaverse and Tonic Games shares this goal,” he said. Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic in a statement. “As Epic works to build this virtual future, we need great creative talent who knows how to create powerful games, content and experiences.”
The finanacial terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Fortnite and Fall Guys are similar in that they both fall within the popular Battle Royale genre, which was made popular to begin with by the massive success of Fortnite. Since its launch in 2017, Fortnite has amassed more than 350 million players. That attracted the attention of notable investors like Sony, which invested $ 250 million in Epic last year. The company was last valued at $ 17.3 billion.
At the same time, Epic has been embroiled in a tense legal fight with Apple over the iPhone maker’s app store policies. Last year, Epic published a version of Fortnite on the Apple App Store that included a method for users to make in-app purchases without giving Apple its usual 30% cut. Apple subsequently removed the Fortnite app and Epic sued Apple later that day.