Epic Games, the makers of Unreal Engine and Fortnite, just acquired Houseparty a multi person video chat based social network. Houseparty is available in application form for both the AppStore and Google Play. The reason for the acquisition isn’t entirely clear, but couldn’t have been cheap as Houseparty was fairly well funded.
Some details were released on a Medium post by Houseparty:
Today is a big day for us at Houseparty because we’re joining the Epic Games family!
Houseparty is the synchronous social platform that lets you connect face-to-face with the people you care about most. By teaming up with Epic, creator of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, we’ll be able to help even more people connect with their friends, family, and peers.
“Joining Epic is a great step forward in achieving our mission of bringing empathy to online communication,” said Sima Sistani, Co-founder and CEO of Houseparty. “We have a common vision to make human interaction easier and more enjoyable, and always with respect for user privacy.”
“Houseparty brings people together, creating positive social interactions in real time,” said Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games. “By teaming up, we can build even more fun, shared experiences than what could be achieved alone.”
So, why would a gaming company like Unreal Engine by a social video chat platform? My best guess is to support their upcoming cross platform online services initiative although that is entirely speculation at this point. If you are an existing Houseparty user, according to the FAQ in the linked Medium article, your life should remain unchanged in the near future at least.