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Disney Invests $1.5 Billion in Epic Games and Will Build Partnership Around Fortnite

Epic Games Fortnite

During yesterday’s Earnings Call, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger announced Disney will invest $1.5 billion to acquire an equity stake in Epic Games, alongside a multiyear collaboration on new games with the company, and an entertainment universe focused on Epic’s blockbuster “Fortnite” to expand the reach of Disney stories and experiences.

The Details

The new universe will offer a multitude of opportunities for consumers to play, watch, shop and engage with content, characters and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar and more.

Players, gamers and fans will be able to create their own stories and experiences, express their fandom in a distinctly Disney way, and share content with each other in ways that they love.

“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, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

“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 Fortnite

This will all be powered by Unreal Engine, which is used to produce assets and content across the Disney portfolio including in the development of video games like “Kingdom Hearts 3” 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 partnership is built on Epic Games’ participation in the 2017 Disney Accelerator program, which seeks to impact the future of technology and entertainment.

Disney and Epic Games have already 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.

“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,” added Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Experiences.

“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.”

The Timeline

Of course, the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, so no timeline has been given…or as Disney and Epic Games say in the trailer below, “soon(ish)”: