Disney Invests $1.5 Billion Into Creating An ‘Expansive’ Universe With Epic Games

©The Walt Disney Company/Epic Games

Disney has announced its $1.5 billion equity stake in Epic Games as the pair team up to make an “expansive and open games and entertainment universe.’

Players can expect to see their favourite characters and content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and Avatar.

The pixie dust magic doesn’t stop there with players being able to shop, play, watch content and “create their own stories” within the franchises.

The companies have yet to disclose more details on how players will be able to watch content however Game World Observer speculate that there may be places within Fortnite to stream Disney+.

Robert A. Iger, The Walt Disney Company CEO said: “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.”

This marks another successful collaboration between the companies, building on previous ventures such as the 2020 Marvel-themed season in Fortnite called Marvel Nexus War, which attracted over 15.3 million concurrent players. There has also been a number of content from Star Wars and Disney such as the Jack Skellington skin released last October.

Tim Sweeny, CEO and Epic Games founder said: “Disney was one of the first companies to believe in the potential of bringing their worlds together with ours in Fortnite.

“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.”

Disney has also emphasised their desire to strengthen their relationship with Epic Games through utilising Unreal Engine across animation, cinematic editing and in the development of their licensed video games.

Unreal Engine is a 3D computer graphic game engine software developed by Epic Games. The software has been used to produce numerous assists across the Disney portfolio such as developing games like Kingdom Hearts 3 and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor as well as creating more than 15 Disney Parks attractions, including the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

The Lego Fortnite game held a similar $1 billion investment deal between KIRKBI, Sony and Epic Games. The Lego survival game which debuted last December amounted to having 2.4 million concurrent players

The equity stake is subject to meeting typical closing requirements, including getting regulatory approval.

Words by Libby Jennings

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