In a groundbreaking collaboration, The Walt Disney Company and Epic Games have announced a strategic partnership to create an expansive and open games and entertainment universe connected to Fortnite. Disney will invest $1.5 billion in this venture to acquire an equity stake in Epic Games alongside the multi-year project.
The collaboration plans to spread Disney stories and experiences by creating a new gaming and entertainment world. This plan, which needs to meet certain normal conditions before it can happen, including getting approval from regulators, will involve creating a new ongoing world that connects with Fortnite. This world will allow people to play, watch, buy things, and interact with content, characters, and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar, and other franchises.
“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.”
Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company.
The team-up adds to the strong partnership between Disney and Epic Games. They have involved hundreds of millions of players through Fortnite content integrations, season collaborations, in-game activities, and live events. One of these events, the Marvel Nexus War with Galactus, attracted more than 15.3 million players at the same time.
Moreover, Unreal Engine, the technology behind Fortnite, is already widely used across Disney’s projects for video game development, cinematic editing and animation for film and streaming, and creating Disney Parks attractions. Disney’s games business continues to perform well, with licensed games from Disney receiving more than 150 award nominations, wins, and other accolades in 2023.
“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. 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.”
Tim Sweeney, CEO and Founder, Epic Games
Today’s announcement of Epic’s multi-year collaboration with – and $1.5bn investment from – The Walt Disney Company really coincides with Epic Games continuing to expand Fortnite with in-house Lego survival, racing, and rhythm-game modes.