The Walt Disney Company is investing $1.5 billion in Epic Games, the developer of the Fortnite game and the Unreal Engine game engine. A statement about this was published on the company's website.
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What we know
“Disney is investing $1.5 billion to acquire a stake in Epic Games as part of a multi-year project. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals,” the release stated. The size of the share is not specified there.
According to the statement, as part of the collaboration, the companies will work to create their own “game and entertainment universe.”
“The new universe will offer users a variety of ways to play, watch videos, shop and interact with Disney content, characters and stories.” Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar and other (franchises),” the company reported.
The new platform will be powered by Unreal Engine. A statement on the Epic Games website notes that creating an “open, persistent and social universe” will “bring Disney stories and experiences to life through the interaction of Fortnite and its more than 100 million active players.”
The collaboration with Epic Games will be “Disney's most significant entry into the gaming world and will open up significant opportunities for growth and expansion,” said company CEO Bob Iger. “We look forward to fans being able to interact with their favorite Disney stories and worlds in new ways,” said the top executive.
Epic CEO and founder Tim Sweeney recalled that Disney was one of the first companies to “believe in the potential to combine their worlds with ours in Fortnite,” and is already actively using the Unreal Engine. “Now we’re working on something completely new to create a sustainable, open and interoperable ecosystem that will unite the Disney and Fortnite communities,” Sweeney noted.
As The Verge writes, this is indeed not the first collaboration. between Disney and Epic Games: Fortnite allows you to play as a variety of characters from Star Wars, Marvel and other Disney franchises, and in 2020 the game had an entire season dedicated to Marvel characters and stories.
New project two companies, the publication notes, is similar to Epic’s recent collaboration with Lego. In April 2022, Epic Games raised $2 billion from Sony and the Kirkbi holding, which owns Lego. As a result, Fortnite has a mode with Lego characters and new game mechanics.