The Walt Disney Company will acquire a $1.5 billion equity stake in Epic Games, and the two will collaborate on an all-new Disney games and entertainment universe connected to Fortnite that aims to expand the reach of Disney stories and experiences, the companies announced.
This new universe will interoperate with Fortnite and offer various ways for consumers to play, watch, shop, and engage with content, characters, and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar, and more. Players will be able to create their own stories and experiences, “express their fandom in a distinctly Disney way,” and share content.
“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 The Walt Disney Company chief executive officer Robert A. Iger in a press release. “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.”
Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeny added, “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’re collaborating on something entirely new to build a persistent, open and interoperable ecosystem that will bring together the Disney and Fortnite communities.”
Disney Experiences chairman Josh D’Amaro said, “This will enable us to bring together our incredible collection of stories and experiences from across the company for a broad audience in ways we have only dreamed of before. Epic Games’ industry-leading technology and Fortnite‘s open ecosystem will help us reach consumers where they are so they can engage with Disney in the ways that are most relevant to them.”
Find further details below.
Deepening the Epic Games and Disney Relationship
Disney and Epic Games have engaged hundreds of millions of players through Fortnite content integrations, season collaborations, in-game activations, and live events, including the Marvel Nexus War with Galactus, which drew more than 15.3 million concurrent players.
Unreal Engine is used to produce assets and content across the Disney portfolio including in the development of video games like Kingdom Hearts III and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor; in cinematic editing and animation for film and streaming; and in the creation of more than 15 Disney Parks attractions like Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
This all builds on Epic Games’ participation in the 2017 Disney Accelerator program, which seeks to impact the future of technology and entertainment.
Games Industry Growth and Disney Games Success
The digital world is growing and evolving with more than three billion video game players worldwide who want to move safely and seamlessly between the worlds they love, unleash their own creativity, and experience great gameplay.
Disney’s games business continues to deliver strong results since it shifted to a licensing business model in 2016. Disney is a leading games licensor working with best-in-class developers and publishers, including on the best-selling superhero game of all-time, Marvel’s Spider-Man. Licensed games from Disney garnered more than 150 award nominations, wins and other accolades in 2023, including multiple Game of the Year nominations for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Disney mobile games have 1.5 billion global installs, and to date, nine Disney games franchises have each grossed more than $1 billion in sales. In the U.S., the world’s largest games market, licensed titles from Disney regularly hit the annual top-10 best-sellers list.
Watch a trailer below.