Disney has announced plans to invest $1.5bn in Epic Games as it ventures into the video gaming industry.
This partnership aims to create a new gaming and entertainment universe based on characters and stories from Disney’s portfolio, including Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar, and others.
Disney said the new universe will not only offer a ‘world-class’ gaming experience but will also integrate with the popular Fortnite game.
It will provide consumers with a platform to play, engage, and shop, while also offering the ability to create and share their own Disney-themed content.
The initiative will harness the capabilities of Unreal Engine, Epic Games’ real-time 3D creation tool, which is already used for developing content across Disney’s various divisions.
Disney’s investment builds on the existing relationship with Epic Games, which includes past Fortnite integrations and live events.
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The collaboration is a continuation of Epic Games’ journey with Disney, which began with its participation in the Disney Accelerator program in 2017.
The Walt Disney Company CEO Robert Iger said: “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.
“This marks Disney’s biggest entry ever into the world of games and offers significant opportunities for growth and expansion.”
Epic Games CEO and founder Tim Sweeney said: “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 are collaborating on something entirely new to build a persistent, open and interoperable ecosystem that will bring together the Disney and Fortnite communities.”
This move comes after Epic Games raised $2bn in funding in April 2022 from Sony and KIRKBI, the investment company behind The Lego Group.