October 26, 2018 / 3:43 PM / 2 months ago

'Fortnite' creator Epic Games raises $1.25 bln from KKR, others

The Fortnite logo is seen at the Paris Games Week (PGW), a trade fair for video games in Paris, France, October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

(Reuters) - Epic Games, the creator of video game sensation “Fortnite”, said on Friday it received $1.25 billion in funding from investors, including KKR & Co Inc (KKR.N), Iconiq Capital and Smash Ventures.

“Fortnite,” a sort of hybrid of “The Hunger Games” and “Minecraft,” drops 100 people onto an island to fight each other for survival.

The tactical tournament game, whose first version was released in 2017, has been called an industry “game-changer” by analysts as it signed up tens of millions of users for its last-player-standing “Battle Royale” format.

Epic Games is valued at almost $15 billion as part of the new investment round, the Wall Street Journal on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company declined to comment on its valuation or any plans to go public when contacted by Reuters.

Epic, which counts Tencent, Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) and Endeavor among its minority shareholders, was estimated to be worth $4.5 billion by Jefferies analyst Tim O’Shea in May.

Rival video game makers Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O), the creator of “Call of Duty,” and “Grand Theft Auto” owner Take-Two Interactive (TTWO.O) lost billions of dollars in market value earlier this year as investors took note of Fortnite’s ability to wring cash from players.

Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel and Arun Koyyur

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