Disney and Epic Games are teaming up to create a new ‘games and entertainment universe’ with a $1.5 billion initial investment.
The fledgling universe is set to offer fans of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar and other Disney properties ways to play and engage with characters and stories from within those worlds. While there’s no clear indication of exactly what this will look like, Disney has promised to offer ways for people to “express their fandom in a distinctly Disney way”.
“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 Robert A. Iger, CEO of Disney. “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.”
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) February 7, 2024
All of the content will be powered by Unreal Engine, building on previous collaborations between Disney and Epic Games, such as Fortnite content integrations, season collaborations, and live events. You can already play with skins of Disney characters in Fortnite, while Unreal Engine has also worked with Disney IP on games like Kingdom Hearts 3 and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, as well as real-life events at Disney Parks attractions.
“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 Tim Sweeney, CEO and founder of Epic Games. “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 goes from strength to strength in gaming
This comes after Disney reported a sharp rise in profits, in so small part due to its investment in gaming and digital entertainment. Profits at Disney rose 49% to $1.91bn in the three months to 31 December, on a flat revenue of $23.5bn, according to the Guardian, while within the gaming sector specifically, Disney mobile games have 1.5 billion global installs. To date, nine Disney game franchises have each grossed more than $1 billion in sales.
Featured image: Disney