Disney Make $1.5B Investment in Epic Games

Disney have just announced they are making a $1.5 Billion dollar investment in Epic Games and announced a massive partnership in both Fortnite and Unreal Engine usage. This is not the first major company to take an investment stake in Epic Games with Sony making a $250M investment back in 2020 and of course Tencent’s earlier investment in 2012.

Details of the partnership between Disney and Epic Games:

The Walt Disney Company and Epic Games will collaborate on an all-new games and entertainment universe that will further expand the reach of beloved Disney stories and experiences. Disney will also invest $1.5 billion to acquire an equity stake in Epic Games alongside the multiyear project. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

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.

“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.”

In a follow-up interview Disney CEO Bob Iger added clarity to how the two companies would partner:

“It’s not just our parks where we’re creating new opportunities for consumers to engage with the characters and franchises they love,” Iger said in the analyst call. In our new relationship with Epic Games, we’re creating a transformational games and entertainment universe that integrates Disney’s world-class storytelling into Epic’s cultural phenomenon Fortnite, enabling consumers to play, watch, create, and shop for both digital and physical goods. This marks Disney’s biggest entry ever into the world of video games, and offers significant opportunities for growth and expansion. The new immersive universe will unleash their own creativity and experience the Disney stories that they love in groundbreaking new ways.”

Followed by:

The world would be one where “people could create their own games, could watch — you could imagine the creation of short form videos — or maybe we may even use the platform to actually distribute some of our content,” Iger said.

He said that people that could interact with one another and ultimately some form of shopping, as well and other forms of creation.

“Obviously, there’ll be some there the opportunities to buy digital goods for native at some point — physical goods,” he siad. “And I just think that given the demographic trends, and given the success of Fortnite — and by the way, they are experiencing a really a great year of both customer satisfaction and growth as they return to some of their roots.”

Iger said Disney can take our IP from our movies and our television and have them expressed in our parks. And he said this is also a great way to do it in games.

“It’s a way to have skin in the game with them with the investment of $1.5 billion to strengthen a partnership. Because we have skin in the game, but also build a world where we’re actually not creating too much risk for the company,” he said. “So as we said this is the best of all worlds in many respects, from a business venture perspective, and certainly great for consumers who love to interact with our characters already in video game format.”

Key Links

Disney and Epic Games Investment Announcement

Bob Iger Interview on VentureBeat

You can learn more about the massive $1.5 Billion dollar investment Disney are making in Epic Games, as well as what it will mean for Fortnite, UEFN and Unreal Engine going forward, in the video below.

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