Walt Disney to invest $1.5bn in Epic Games to create persistent games and entertainment ecosystem

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The Walt Disney Company has revealed its plans to collaborate with Epic Games, the powerhouse behind the global gaming phenomenon Fortnite, to create an all-new games and entertainment universe. This ambitious project is backed by a substantial $1.5 billion investment from Disney to acquire an equity stake in Epic Games. The deal, which is currently pending regulatory approvals and subject to customary closing conditions, is poised to reshape the landscape of the gaming and entertainment industries.

Deepening the Epic Games & Disney Relationship

For years, Disney and Epic Games have captivated millions through their collaborative efforts in Fortnite, with season collaborations, in-game activations, and live events drawing record-breaking player counts. The Marvel Nexus War, for example, attracted over 15.3 million concurrent players, showcasing the immense potential of their partnership. The use of Unreal Engine, Epic Games’ cutting-edge technology, extends beyond gaming into Disney’s cinematic, animation, and theme park attractions, highlighting the synergy between the two companies.

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A New Era of Gaming and Entertainment

At the core of this partnership is the creation of a persistent universe that leverages Unreal Engine to offer a world-class gaming experience. This universe will interoperate with Fortnite and encompass a wide range of Disney’s intellectual properties, including Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and Avatar. It promises to offer unprecedented opportunities for consumers to engage with their favorite stories and characters in innovative ways, from playing and watching to shopping and content creation.

Disney and Epic Games Collaborate on a New Entertainment Universe, Merging Fortnite with Iconic Disney Stories

Disney and Epic Games Collaborate on a New Entertainment Universe, Merging Fortnite with Iconic Disney Stories

Robert A. Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, emphasizing its potential to revolutionize how fans interact with Disney stories. Tim Sweeney, CEO and Founder of Epic Games, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the creation of an open ecosystem that will unite the Disney and Fortnite communities.

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Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Experiences, detailed the vision of bringing together Disney’s vast collection of stories for broad audiences, leveraging Epic Games’ technology and Fortnite’s ecosystem to reach consumers more effectively.

Implications for the Games Industry and Disney’s Gaming Success

This collaboration marks a significant milestone in the evolution of the gaming industry, which currently boasts over 3 billion players worldwide. It underscores a growing trend towards immersive, cross-platform experiences that allow players to seamlessly transition between worlds, unleash creativity, and enjoy high-quality gameplay.

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Disney’s foray into the gaming world has been met with substantial success, especially since shifting to a licensing business model in 2016. With accolades for licensed games like Marvel’s Spider-Man and a strong performance in mobile gaming, Disney has established itself as a leading games licensor. The partnership with Epic Games is set to further cement this position, offering new avenues for growth and expansion in the digital entertainment space.

As the deal progresses towards completion, the industry eagerly awaits the unveiling of this new universe. With the promise of combining beloved Disney narratives with the dynamic world of Fortnite, the collaboration between The Walt Disney Company and Epic Games is set to redefine entertainment for generations to come.

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