Disney invests $1.5 billion in Epic Games for expansive Fortnite universe

Disney has acquired a $1.5 billion stake in Epic Games, unveiling ambitious plans to craft an expansive, interconnected universe within the immensely popular multiplayer online game, Fortnite. This groundbreaking collaboration will integrate characters from Disney’s extensive portfolio, spanning Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar, and other franchises under the Disney umbrella. Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, expressed excitement over this transformative venture, emphasizing its significance as Disney’s largest foray into the gaming realm, presenting substantial opportunities for growth.

Epic Games’ CEO and Founder, Tim Sweeney, highlighted Disney’s early belief in merging their worlds within Fortnite and their shared utilization of Unreal Engine. Together, they aim to construct a novel, persistent, and interoperable ecosystem, uniting the Disney and Fortnite communities. While specifics, including a potential release date, remain undisclosed, the collaboration promises to redefine gaming experiences for enthusiasts of both entities.

This partnership builds upon Disney and Epic’s existing collaboration in Fortnite, where the inclusion of Marvel and Star Wars elements has proven immensely popular. Live events like the Marvel Nexus War with Galactus drew a staggering 15.3 million concurrent players.

Simultaneously, Disney announced the arrival of Taylor Swift’s concert film, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version),” on Disney+. Scheduled for streaming on March 15, the film includes bonus songs, including “Cardigan” from Swift’s 2020 album Folklore and four acoustic section performances. Disney’s robust fiscal performance in the October-December quarter, surpassing expectations with $1.91 billion in earnings, attests to the company’s resilience, driven by cost-cutting measures and thriving revenue from its theme parks.