Disney is investing a whopping $1.5 billion in Epic Games for an equity stake in the company, and will partner with the Fortnite creator to create what Epic Games is calling an “expansive and open games and entertainment universe connected to Fortnite.”
This is a huge investment in Epic, and arguably Disney’s single biggest investment in the games space, particularly because it’s all going to one giant studio.
“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 Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger.
“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 the worlds they love in groundbreaking new ways.”
Players have already seen multiple Disney characters join the ever-growing multiverse that is Fortnite, and with Fortnite’s latest evolution of having entirely different games and experiences built within Fortnite, this partnership makes a lot of sense.
A trailer to go along with the announcement even gives fans a tease at to what they might see from this new, all-Disney related Fortnite experience.
“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 Epic boss Tim Sweeney.
“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.”
Whether you like Fortnite, play it, or don’t do either, it’s true for everyone that Fortnite is changing the games industry. It did so once before when it first launched, and again with the launch of different Fortnite experiences.
Now, this new deal looks poised to change the industry once again, and further deliver on the promise of a proper ‘metaverse.’ It’ll be interesting to see just how far this partnership goes, and how Fortnite and Epic Games will continue to shape gaming’s future.