Epic Games and Disney have partnered to build a shared virtual environment with iconic Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars characters and properties. According to the deal, the two businesses are collaborating to develop what they call a "open games and entertainment universe."
As part of the agreement, The Walt Disney Company invested $1.5 billion in Epic Games. This is Disney's greatest investment to date in the burgeoning gaming business, as it searches fresh opportunities for expansion.
Epic's Unreal Engine allows players to explore synthetic worlds based on franchises like Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and more. The new universe, linked to Fortnite, will provide consumers with different ways to connect with Disney content, including gaming, entertainment and social experiences.
In addition to being a world-class games experience and interoperating with Fortnite, the new persistent 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. This will all be powered by Unreal Engine.
Disney and Epic have previously collaborated on Fortnite seasons, such as Marvel and Star Wars.
"This is Disney's largest entry into the world of games and provides significant opportunities for growth and expansion," said Robert Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company. "We can't wait for fans to experience the Disney stories and worlds they love in groundbreaking new ways."
Epic aims to grow Fortnite beyond battle royale games. Recent additions, such Lego and music games, demonstrate a desire for more participatory experiences. Disney plans to relaunch its metaverse initiatives after closing a dedicated division last year.