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Disney Invests $1.5B in Epic Games to Create Immersive Fortnite Universe

The collaboration between Disney and Epic Games aims to bring together iconic Disney franchises like Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars with Epic's gaming leadership through Fortnite and Unreal Engine

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The Walt Disney Company and Epic Games announced a groundbreaking partnership valued at $1.5 billion to construct an expansive digital universe integrating Disney’s treasured stories and characters with Epic’s gaming technology and expertise.

Pending customary closing conditions like regulatory approvals, Disney will invest $1.5 billion in Epic Games to help fund this ambitious venture. The collaboration aims to blend Disney’s universally cherished franchises such as Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic with Epic’s technical prowess and gaming leadership through Fortnite and Unreal Engine.

The resulting interconnected digital universe will empower users to craft their own narratives, share personalized content, and engage in activities and adventures featuring their favorite Disney characters and themes. This marks Disney’s biggest foray yet into the gaming world, unlocking substantial opportunities for advancement and growth.

Disney and Epic have an established history of successful collaborations, including integrating Fortnite content and hosting live in-game events based on Marvel’s Nexus War and Galactus which attracted over 15.3 million concurrent players. Epic’s Unreal Engine has also been instrumental in projects across Disney including games like Kingdom Hearts 3 and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor as well as in cinematic editing, streaming, and developing Disney Parks attractions.

This deal builds on Epic’s early participation in Disney’s 2017 Accelerator program focused on shaping the future of technology and entertainment. Disney has embraced a licensing model since 2016 which has led to hit partnerships such as with Marvel’s Spider-Man, one of the best-selling superhero games to date.

Disney’s licensed games have earned numerous awards and nominations including Game of the Year nods for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Across mobile platforms, Disney games have amassed over 1.5 billion global installs with nine franchises each surpassing $1 billion in lifetime revenue. In the U.S., Disney licensed titles consistently rank among the top 10 best-selling games.

Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, shared his enthusiasm about the collaboration stating, “Our thrilling new partnership with Epic Games will unite Disney’s cherished brands and franchises with the immensely popular Fortnite in a revolutionary new gaming and entertainment universe. This represents Disney’s largest venture yet into the gaming realm, presenting substantial prospects for advancement and expansion. We’re eager for fans to immerse themselves in the Disney narratives and realms they adore through innovative new ways.”

Tim Sweeney, CEO and Founder of Epic Games added, “Disney was among the early believers in the potential of merging their realms with ours in Fortnite, utilizing Unreal Engine across their spectrum of endeavors. Now, we’re embarking on a fresh collaboration to craft a persistent, open, and interoperable ecosystem, uniting the Disney and Fortnite communities in an entirely novel endeavor.”

This strategic Disney-Epic alliance signifies a major step towards the interoperable metaverse of the future that will transform how audiences connect with their most loved characters, stories, and worlds.

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