An attendee carries a foam pickaxe during the Epic Games Inc. Fortnite: Battle Royale Celebrity Pro Am on the sidelines of the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S. (Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Fortnite Maker to Buy Studio Behind Rocket League Video Game

(Bloomberg) -- Epic Games Inc., the studio behind Fortnite, agreed to purchase Psyonix Inc., taking over a longstanding partner and developer of the soccer-inspired video game Rocket League.

The transaction is expected to close by early June, Psyonix said in a statement Wednesday. Terms of the agreement weren’t released.

“This is a great move for the Rocket League esports ecosystem because it significantly increases our potential reach and resources, just like it does for the game itself,” Psyonix said.

Located in San Diego, Psyonix was founded in 2001. It has collaborated for years with Epic Games, according to the Hollywood Reporter, including work on Unreal Tournament and Gears of War, two other Epic titles.

Psyonix launched Rocket League in 2015. It has developed a strong esports following, and was the 15th most popular core PC game in March, according to research firm Newzoo.

Epic Games, founded by Tim Sweeney in 1991 and part-owned by Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., has soared with the ubiquitous success of Fortnite. Last year, the game maker closed a $1.25 billion investment round from a group that included KKR & Co., Vulcan Capital and esports startup AXiomatic Gaming.

In addition to Fortnite and its other games, the North Carolina-based company owns the Unreal Engine, design software used by hundred of non-Epic games, including Rocket League. It also recently launched an online store, which will soon include Rocket League.

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