Whatever your opinion on the uber popular battle royale game Fortnite, there’s no denying that it’s made Epic Games an insane amount of money. Like, Scrooge McDuck diving into a pool of money levels of insane.
The developer raked in an eye-watering $3 billion in 2018 from Fortnite alone, while Epic founder Tim Sweeney now boasts a net worth of $7.18 billion, according to Bloomberg. So what does one do with all that cash? I mean aside from the inevitable aforementioned Scrooge McDuck style diving, of course.
As it turns out, Sweeney has been using his fortune to support conversation projects for the past decade. According to Vigor News, Sweeney – who founded Epic in 1991 – has been spending millions of dollars to buy forests so no one else can harm them.
For example, in North Carolina Sweeney bought 40,000 acres of land and donated money to a number of conservation projects, with an expansion of 1,500 acres to Mount Michael State Park among them.
In November 2016, he also donated an incredible $15 million to help protect 7,000 acres of the Box Creek Wilderness, a step he claimed was only “one part of the puzzle”.
It’s one of the most diverse areas in North Carolina. It has such rare plant and wildlife species, it seemed a perfect fit with the Fish and Wildlife Service. This is a first step – there will be other places protected. The goal is to connect South Mountains State Park to Chimney Rock. This is one piece of the puzzle.
His commitment to the cause really hasn’t waned over the years either. Only last year, he purchased a 1,500 acre area known as Stone Hills, preventing it from being developed into a golf resort.
Sweeney said he’d be holding the area himself until he finds “a permanent nature conservation home for it, which will take years or decades.”
If Fornite getting bigger and bigger means Sweeney is allowed to continue his incredible conservation work, then I’m personally all for it becoming the biggest game in the world.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.