'Fortnite' Publisher Buys Chat App Houseparty

Digital Disrupters-Tim Sweeney-Getty-H 2018
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Samsung

Epic Games will keep Houseparty as a stand-alone service.

Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite has acquired Houseparty, an app for video chatting in groups. 

The companies, in announcing the deal Wednesday, said that it would allow them to more effectively focus on building social experiences. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"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."

Houseparty will remain a stand-alone product. Epic Games and Houseparty accounts will continue to be separate and data will not be shared across the products. 

"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."

The acquisition comes on the heels of Fortnite's $1.25 billion financing round last fall. It gives Epic further social capabilities, which are key to the popularity of Fortnite

Houseparty was borne out of the now-defunct Meerkat live-streaming app. The company, which has raised over $70 million in funding, launched the app in 2016.