Disney announced a partnership with Epic Games, investing $1.5 billion for a minority stake in the company behind Fortnite (with crossovers like Futurama, The Weeknd, and Marvel), marking its largest move into gaming. CEO Bob Iger emphasized this as their biggest venture yet into the gaming space. They plan to collaborate on a “Disney universe” for gaming.
According to The Walt Disney Company:
The Walt Disney Company and Epic Games will collaborate on an all-new games and entertainment universe that will further expand the reach of beloved Disney stories and experiences. Disney will also invest $1.5 billion to acquire an equity stake in Epic Games alongside the multiyear project. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
In addition to being a world-class games experience and interoperating with Fortnite, the new persistent universe will offer a multitude of opportunities for consumers to play, watch, shop and engage with content, characters and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar and more. Players, gamers and fans will be able to create their own stories and experiences, express their fandom in a distinctly Disney way, and share content with each other in ways that they love. This will all be powered by Unreal Engine.
“Our exciting new relationship with Epic Games will bring together Disney’s beloved brands and franchises with the hugely popular Fortnite in a transformational new games and entertainment universe,” said Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “This marks Disney’s biggest entry ever into the world of games and offers significant opportunities for growth and expansion. We can’t wait for fans to experience the Disney stories and worlds they love in groundbreaking new ways.”
“Disney was one of the first companies to believe in the potential of bringing their worlds together with ours in Fortnite, and they use Unreal Engine across their portfolio,” said Tim Sweeney, CEO and Founder, Epic Games. “Now we’re collaborating on something entirely new to build a persistent, open and interoperable ecosystem that will bring together the Disney and Fortnite communities.”
“This will enable us to bring together our incredible collection of stories and experiences from across the company for a broad audience in ways we have only dreamed of before,” said Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Experiences. “Epic Games’ industry-leading technology and Fortnite’s open ecosystem will help us reach consumers where they are so they can engage with Disney in the ways that are most relevant to them.”