Since becoming an industry juggernaut, thanks to its hit game Fortnite, Cary-based video game developer Epic Games has gone on a spending spree, buying up several smaller rivals in the past few years.
Its latest acquisition is the developer behind the hit music video game series Rock Band and the original developer of Guitar Hero.
On Tuesday, Epic said it would buy the Boston game developer Harmonix and use its expertise in music-based games to create more musical interactions in Fortnite.
“Music is already bringing millions of people together in Fortnite,” Alain Tascan, vice president of game development at Epic Games, said in a statement. “Together with the Harmonix team, we will transform how players experience music, going from passive listeners to active participants.”
Fortnite has already launched several notable musical experiences within the game. In the past, it has hosted virtual concerts form artists like the rapper Travis Scott and the DJ Marshmello. Epic has used these concerts as examples of its ongoing efforts to build a metaverse.
The metaverse, a term created by science-fiction novelist Neal Stephenson, refers to virtual worlds where people can interact with each other via online avatars. People already do this in a limited fashion on Epic’s hit game Fortnite, but other companies, like Facebook, are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to create virtual ecosystems where people can interact for a variety of reasons, whether it’s work, commerce or entertainment.
“As we work to build the metaverse, this expertise is needed to reimagine how music is experienced, created and distributed,” Epic Games said in a statement.
Epic did not disclose how much it paid to acquire Harmonix. The company also declined to make any executives available to speak about the deal.
Earlier this year, Epic also bought the game studio behind the popular video game Fall Guys, The News & Observer previously reported.
The company’s other significant recent acquisitions include the companies behind the video game Rocket League and the maker of the Houseparty social media app.
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