It seems that more than going just for video games as seen by their purchase of Psyonix, Epic is also expanding their reach in tech, if the recent acquisition of Houseparty is anything to go by. Houseparty is a social network/video chat app that allows for video chatting in a one-to-one or group setting on the PC (via Chrome), iOS, Android and Mac. The news of Epic Games' acquisition was revealed earlier today on Medium.
There are no actual details on the acquisition, with no price listed nor any mention of plans beyond keeping the two as separate entities. Logically speaking, though, Houseparty would make for a perfect tool to integrate into the Epic Games Store, which is lacking a number of features, including video chat.
This seems very much in line with what Tim Sweeny, CEO of Epic Games, has said regarding this acquisition, stating:
Houseparty brings people together, creating positive social interactions in real time. By teaming up, we can build even more fun, shared experiences than what could be achieved alone.
Sima Sistani, CEO of Houseparty, seems to reflect these sentiments, stating:
Joining Epic is a great step forward in achieving our mission of bringing empathy to online communication. We have a common vision to make human interaction easier and more enjoyable, and always with respect for user privacy.
Houseparty is joining the @epicgames family! ??
— Houseparty (@houseparty) June 12, 2019
In the same news piece, there were three simple questions that people may ask put in a Q&A:
Q: What does this mean for Houseparty?
A: There is no change to Houseparty today. You can access Houseparty as you normally would.
Q: Will I keep my Houseparty friends?
A: Yes, your Houseparty friendships remain the same.
Q: What if I have a Houseparty account and an Epic Games account? Can I connect the two?
A: Your Houseparty account will remain separate from your Epic Games account. User data will not be shared across the two.
This will undoubtedly keep people happy who would rather keep their Houseparty account separate from that of their Epic account. Personally, I've never used Houseparty, but I am aware of its functionality. It would make more than a little sense to integrate its functions into that of the Epic Games Store/Epic Games Launcher, rather than building a brand new video chat function.