Disney and Epic Games will partner on an “all-new games and entertainment universe”
Lego Fortnite is only two months old, but Epic Games is already out with an even bigger collaboration.
Epic and Disney announced today that the companies will partner on an “all-new games and entertainment universe” that will bring characters from Disney’s deep catalogue to life through a tie-in with Fortnite. Disney will take a $1.5 billion equity stake in Epic Games as part of the deal.
The scope of the project sounds massive, to say the least. In a press release, the companies described the forthcoming project as “an all-new games and entertainment universe” offering players a way to “play, watch, shop and engage with” characters and storylines from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and others. The collaboration will use Epic’s Unreal Engine and plans to be “interoperable” with Fortnite, tying into Epic’s existing online social gaming infrastructure.
“This marks Disney’s biggest entry ever into the world of games and offers significant opportunities for growth and expansion,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said of the partnership, which apparently grew out of Epic’s time in a Disney Accelerator program back in 2017.
The Disney collaboration comes as a surprise, but fits right into Epic’s current roadmap. The company dramatically widened Fortnite’s scope in recent years, and what began as a popular battle royale game (technically a player-versus-environment game before that) has exploded into a hub of user-generated game modes and brand collaborations.
“Disney was one of the first companies to believe in the potential of bringing their worlds together with ours in Fortnite, and they use Unreal Engine across their portfolio,” Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said in the announcement. “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.”