Startups

Disney invests $1.5 billion in Epic Games to create new “Games & Entertainment Universe”

Entertainment giant Disney announced on Wednesday that it is investing $1.5 billion in Fortnite maker Epic Games, making it the company’s largest-ever investment in gaming.  As part of the deal, the two companies will join forces to develop a new game and an expansive “entertainment universe” featuring beloved characters from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and Avatar.

Disney’s foray into gaming has seen several attempts in the past, but this partnership with Epic Games represents its most significant effort to date. In addition to the new game, Epic Games will work on creating an expansive, open, and social universe that seamlessly integrates with Fortnite. This universe will allow fans to interact with iconic characters and stories from Disney’s vast array of franchises.

Disney CEO Bob Iger expressed excitement about the partnership, highlighting its potential for growth and expansion. The collaboration between Disney and Epic Games originated from Epic’s participation in a Disney Accelerator program back in 2017.

During Disney’s Q1 FY24 Earnings call, details about the partnership were revealed, including plans to build the new experience entirely in Unreal Engine. This initiative will empower players to create their own stories and experiences within the Disney universe, fostering a unique and engaging environment for fans.

Robert A. Iger, Disney’s CEO, emphasized the significance of the collaboration, stating that it represents Disney’s largest venture into the world of video games and promises substantial growth opportunities for both the company and its fan base.

Tim Sweeney, CEO and Founder of Epic Games lauded Disney’s early recognition of the potential synergy between their worlds within Fortnite. He highlighted Disney’s use of Unreal Engine across its portfolio and expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, emphasizing its transformative potential.

“Our exciting new relationship with Epic Games will bring together Disney’s beloved brands and franchise with the hugely popular Fortnite in a transformational new games and entertainment universe,” said Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Walt Disney Company. This will be Disney’s biggest entry into the world of video games and will offer significant growth and expansion for both the company and its fan base.

“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 CEO and Founder of Epic Games Tim Sweeny. “Now we’re collaborating on something entirely new to build a persistent, open, and interoperable ecosystem that will bring together Disney and Fortnite communities.”

Below is the video of the announcement.

 


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