Disney is making strides into the gaming landscape, with the entertainment conglomerate announcing its intention to invest a substantial $1.5 billion in Epic Games, the powerhouse behind the globally acclaimed Fortnite franchise. With the investment, Disney will gain an equity stake in the Fortnite-maker as part of the multi-year project, the company revealed in an official statement.
While Disney has long been synonymous with blockbuster movies, beloved characters, and theme park attractions, the company recognizes the potential of gaming as a key pillar of its entertainment empire. This investment comes with the backdrop of the global gaming market experiencing unprecedented growth and reaching new heights of popularity, especially in the post-pandemic era. Central to the project is the utilization of Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, a state-of-the-art game development platform renowned for its stunning graphics and realistic gameplay. By harnessing the power of Unreal Engine technology, Disney and Epic Games aim to deliver immersive gaming experiences that push the boundaries of interactive entertainment. Unreal Engine will serve as the foundation for bringing Disney’s iconic worlds and characters to life in the gaming universe, if things go well.
“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, CEO of 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.”
What does this development mean for gamers? At the heart of the collaboration lies the integration of Disney’s iconic properties into the Fortnite gaming universe. For one, players can expect to encounter familiar characters and worlds from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar, and more within the virtual realm of Fortnite. This integration is poised to elevate the gaming experience by offering players unprecedented access to beloved franchises and characters. Whether embarking on epic quests or engaging in multiplayer battles, they will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich and diverse worlds of Disney like never before.
“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.” Furthermore, the investment combines Disney’s storytelling expertise and vast library of intellectual properties with Epic Games’ technology and gaming prowess.