Disney invests $1.5 billion in Epic Games to build "transformational" games and entertainment universe

Epic Games has just received a $1.5 billion investment from Disney. Together, the companies will work on a multiyear project to create new games and other entertainment experiences as part of an “expansive” universe within Fortnite.

Epic Games raises $1.5 billion from Disney to build a "transformational" games universe within Fortnite

What happened?

  • As part of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, Disney will acquire an equity stake in Epic Games. The exact stake, however, remains undisclosed.
  • Disney sees this partnership as an opportunity for further growth and expansion. CEO Bob Iger called it the company’s biggest entry ever into video games, saying that it will create a “transformational new games and entertainment universe.”
  • Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney described the upcoming multiyear project as a “persistent, open and interoperable ecosystem that will bring together the Disney and Fortnite communities.”
  • The $1.5 billion investment is similar to Epic’s deal with LEGO parent company KIRKBI. In 2022, KIRKBI and Sony each invested $1 billion in Epic Games to acquire equity stakes in the company. The collaboration eventually resulted in the making of survival game Lego Fortnite, which launched in December 2023 and peaked at 2.4 million concurrent players.

Disney x Epic Games universe: new Fortnite games, UGC, and live events

  • Disney and Epic Games will create new games and experiences within Fortnite based on characters and content from brands such as Marvel, Pixar, Avatar, Star Wars, and more.
  • Users will be able to not only play the exclusive experiences, but also watch and buy some content. The companies have yet to share any details, but perhaps there will be special places on the Fortnite platform to stream Disney+ shows or sports content from ESPN.
  • In addition, this “universe” will be open to UGC. Fortnite players will be able to “create their own stories” based on Disney franchises and share content with each other.
  • With this collaboration, Disney also wants to strengthen its relationship with Epic Games, including the use of Unreal Engine in animation, cinematic editing, and its licensed video games. This could also mean more live events (like Nexus War) for Fortnite players.
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