Disney has made a major “Epic” announcement ahead of its quarterly investors call, by revealing that it has invested $1.5 billion to acquire a 10% stake in Epic Games.

As part of the announcement, Disney and Epic Games will collaborate on an all-new games and entertainment universe within the smash hit game, “Fortnite” that will further expand the reach of beloved Disney stories and 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, which is also owned by Epic Games, which is the engine behind many of the biggest video games, including “Kingdom Hearts 3″ and “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor”.  It is also behind the technology used in the creation of more than 15 Disney Parks attractions like “Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run” at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and also the Volume technology, which is used by Disney+ shows like “The Mandalorian” and “Percy Jackson”.

A new image of the new world has been revealed, showcasing a special virtual Walt Disney World, which includes the worlds of many of Disney’s franchises.  If you look in the top corner, there is also a Disney+ area, so it looks like there might be some integration and connection with Disney+.   Hopefully, subscribers might be able to get free skins and you might even be able to watch Disney+ within the world.

Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company said in a statement:

“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. 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.”

Tim Sweeney, CEO and Founder, Epic Games added:

“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. 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.”

Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Experiences, also added:

“This will enable us to bring together our incredible collection of stories and experiences from across the company for a broad audience in ways we have only dreamed of before. Epic Games’ industry-leading technology and Fortnite’s open ecosystem will help us reach consumers where they are so they can engage with Disney in the ways that are most relevant to them.”

Disney has been releasing content on Epic Games’ “Rocket League” and “Fortnite” over the past few years, so it knows the value of how lucrative microtransactions are.   Bob Iger also said during the quarterly financial results call that he was given a presentation by his team, highlighting how Disney needs to get involved more in video games as younger audiences spend more time playing video games than watching television.

Epic Games has been in partnership with Disney, since the company took part in the 2017 Disney Accelerator program, which seeks to impact the future of technology and entertainment.


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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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