Disney To Build 'Expansive' Fortnite Universe, Invests In Epic Games

In its biggest commitment yet to the gaming space, Disney is investing $1.5 billion in an equity stake in Epic Games, the gaming studio known for its popular metaverse game Fortnite.

Together, Disney and Epic plan to create an “expansive and open games and entertainment universe” in which consumers can “play, watch, shop and engage with content, characters and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar and more,” Disney said in a statement.

The entertainment conglomerate added that its future Fortnite universe will be powered by Epic Games’ 3D game developing tool Unreal Engine.

Disney CEO Bob Iger has called the investment “timely” and the company's “biggest foray into the game space ever,” adding that it is an “important step” in attracting a younger user base “when you look at the demographic trends and where Gen Alpha and Gen Z and even millennials are spending their time and media.”



“We can't wait for fans to experience the Disney stories and worlds they love in groundbreaking new ways,” said Epic’s founder and CEO Tim Sweeney. “We're collaborating on something entirely new to build a persistent, open, and interoperable ecosystem that will bring together the Disney and Fortnite communities.”

Epic’s partnership with Disney comes less than two years after its $2 billion deal with Lego, which earlier this year produced “Lego Fortnite,” an open-world survival video game that pushed the boundaries of Fortnite's offerings beyond a battle royale game and into a platform for a wider array of user experiences and brand activations.

In addition, Epic recently launched “Fortnite Festival,” a rhythm game from “Rock Band” creator Harmonix.

No official game release dates have been made surrounding Disney's involvement with Epic, but Epic's new “Rocket League” Fortnite game is receiving an update inspired from Disney's “Mandalorian” Disney+ series as an early teaser of what will become possible via the collaboration.

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