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Disney and Epic Forging New Metaverse Ties Through Fortnite

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The Walt Disney Company and Epic Games have joined forces to create an exciting new games and entertainment universe that will bring beloved Disney stories and experiences to an even wider audience. As part of this collaboration, Disney will invest $1.5 billion to acquire a stake in Epic Games. The completion of this transaction is subject to the usual closing requirements, including regulatory approvals.

Disney and Epic Building a Virtual Magic Kingdom

The newly announced partnership between Disney and Epic Games promises to bring some of pop culture’s most beloved worlds into the metaverse in exciting new ways. By integrating Disney’s timeless stories and characters into Fortnite and beyond, the collaboration aims to create an immersive entertainment universe where fans can play, create, and connect.

Powered by Unreal Engine, the persistent online environment will offer opportunities for consumers to engage with Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and more. Gamers will be able to craft their own narratives, express themselves through Disney fandom, and share user-generated content, blending Disney magic with Epic’s expertise in metaverse experiences.

As Disney CEO Robert Iger stated, “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 creative partnership represents a bold step into the metaverse for the House of Mouse.

Two Creative Powerhouses

The partnership brings together two pioneers in crafting immersive digital experiences. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney noted that Disney embraced Fortnite’s metaverse early on and uses Epic’s Unreal Engine extensively already.

Now the two companies will collaborate to build a groundbreaking open ecosystem bridging their communities. As Disney Experiences Chairman Josh D’Amaro stated, this will enable Disney to share its iconic stories and worlds with audiences in unprecedented ways.

The partnership aims to create an immersive, persistent online world where fans can engage with Disney franchises in new and relevant ways.

Building on a Strong Foundation

The two companies have previously partnered on massive Fortnite events engaging over 15 million concurrent players. Epic’s Unreal Engine also powers key Disney games, movies, streaming content, and theme park attractions. And Epic participated in Disney’s 2017 Accelerator program to shape the future of entertainment technology. With this foundation, the expanded Disney-Epic partnership is poised to pioneer the next generation of immersive, connected experiences.

The Massive Opportunity in Immersive Gaming

The global games market continues to expand rapidly, with over 3 billion players worldwide looking for connected, social experiences. Disney is well positioned in this growth industry, shifting to a licensing model in 2016 that has yielded major successes like Marvel’s Spider-Man. With over 150 awards and 9 billion-dollar franchise games, Disney mobile titles have amassed 1.5 billion global installs. This massive opportunity in immersive, social gaming makes the timing perfect for Disney to expand its presence through a pioneering partnership with Epic.

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