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Epic Games invests in Spire Animation's funding round, eyes metaverse boom

Epic Games invests in Spire Animation's funding round, eyes metaverse boom
Epic Games invests in Spire Animation's funding round, eyes metaverse boom   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022
By Reuters

-Los Angeles-based Spire Animation Studios said on Tuesday it raised $20 million in a funding round, which included an investment from Fortnite-maker Epic Games to collaborate and build metaverse experiences.

Spire said Epic’s three-dimensional creation tool Unreal Engine will integrate with the company’s feature animation pipeline to build into metaverse experiences, allowing it to move its existing character assets and worlds to the metaverse.

Metaverse is the latest buzzword in the technology space, with companies shifting focus and deals picking up pace in the segment as tech giants foresee it to be a major innovation and revenue generator.

In January this year, Microsoft announced a buyout of “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard — marking the biggest acquisition in the gaming sector and boosting the industry’s bet on the metaverse.

Spire’s creative team includes former animators at Pixar Animation Studios and DreamWorks, both of which are owned by Walt Disney Co. The studio’s work is behind titles such as “Cars 2” and “The Simpsons.”

The proceeds raised from Epic and existing investor Connect Ventures will be set aside to expand the team, build new infrastructure and improve technology, Spire Animation said. Epic will also nominate members to Spire’s board.

Founded by “Ratatouille” and “How To Train Your Dragon” producer Brad Lewis and entrepreneur P.J.Gunsagar, the company is currently producing “Trouble” and “Century Goddess.”