Per an official press release earlier today, Disney has invested $1.5 billion into Epic Games to acquire an equity stake in the company. What’s more, they’re using those funds to push forward all new multiyear projects to bring characters and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar, and more into Fortnite.
Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, added to the press release that “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. 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.”
The release mentions the development of capabilities and interactive experiences that will let fans play, watch, shop, and engage with Disney’s gargantuan roster of worlds and characters in all new ways. One part I found particularly interesting was that “players, gamers and fans will be able to create their own stories and experiences,” which sounds like a whole new level of interactivity and immersion for Disney’s properties is coming real soon. Everything that comes out of this partnership is said to be adjacent to or within the Fortnite platform, and will all be of course powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. Epic Games has long been one of the first developers that comes to mind when I think of a shop that really knows how to treat a license with care and reverence. Everything they’ve ever done with Star Wars has been awesome, and they’ve even had in-game story moments featuring Star Wars and Marvel characters that other platforms simply can’t replicate.
As goofy as all the “THE GUY FROM FORTNITE!?” jokes are, Epic is clearly trying to get fans to picture their juggernaut title as more of a platform than just one game, and it sounds like the perspective on Fortnite is about to shift in yet another extremely large way. I’m stoked to see what’s next for this Disney x Epic Games collaboration, so I hope we hear more about it soon.