Disney Announces New ‘Fortnite’ Partnership with Epic Games Following $1.5 Billion Investment

Brit Tuttle

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Disney Announces New ‘Fortnite’ Partnership with Epic Games Following $1.5 Billion Investment

In an interview with CNBC before today’s Q1 2024 earnings call for The Walt Disney Company, CEO Bob Iger announced that Disney and Epic Games will enter into a strategic partnership, with the former investing $1.5 billion into the developers of “Fortnite.”

Disney Teams Up with Epic Games for New ‘Fortnite’ Collaboration

Concept art for the Disney and Epic Games collaboration for "Fortnite."

The multi-year collaboration will focus on a “new games and entertainment universe focused on Fortnite” according to Deadline.

In addition to being a world-class games experience and interoperating with Fortnite, 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 conten twith each other in ways that they love.

Disney CEO Bob Iger

This isn’t the first time that Disney has collaborated with Epic Games for “Fortnite,” as the company has been a part of the online game’s seasonal collaborations, player skins, in-game activations, and live events, including the Marvel Nexus War with Galactus, which pulled in more than 15.3 million concurrent players.

Our exciting new relationship with Epic Games will bring together Disney’s beloved brand and franchises with the hugely popular Fortnite in a transformational new games and entertainment universe.

This mark’s 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.

Disney CEO Bob Iger

The experience will be powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, which has also been used to produce other Disney games like “Kingdom Hearts 3” and “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.” It was also used in the creation of more than 15 Disney Parks attractions, including Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

When asked about the collaboration, Epic Games CEO and Founder Tim Sweeney said,

Disney was one of the first companies to believe in the potential of bringing their worlds together with ours in Fortnite, and they use Uncreal Engine across their portfolio. 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.

CEO and Founder of Epic Games Tim Sweeney

During the interview, Iger said that the results of this collaboration could be a couple of years away.

Later, during the earnings call’s Q&A section, an investor asked why Epic Games was the correct move. Iger responded that Disney has tried their hand at games in the past and licensing has been the most successful venture for them. In 2023, Iger sat down with Josh D’Amaro, Chairperson of Disney Experiences, and realized that Generation X and younger play video games.

Based on their already existing relationship with “Fortnite,” Iger knew that there was success to be had there; he then met with Sweeney and Epic Games to discuss, “What if we create a gigantic Disney World,” but in “Fortnite”? Potential uses for this collaboration include distribution of content, intractability, making and playing games, and purchasing digital goods.

Now that the company has “skin in the game” with their investment, Iger says that Disney doesn’t see it as taking too much of a risk.

Watch the trailer for the new experience:

For more gaming news, reviews, and events, follow WDWNT Play on Instagram, TikTok, X, and YouTube. For Disney news from around the world, visit WDWNT.com.

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