Disney Buys $1.5 Billion Stake in Epic Games

By | February 8th, 2024 | Categories: Fortnite

Walt Disney Company and Epic Games have signed on to a collaboration effort between the two industry giants. Disney announced their acquisition of an equity stake with Epic Games worth 1.5 billion dollars to create new video games and other entertainment media with the game studio. Epic Games’ Fortnite has seen many prior collaborations with Disney IPs like Star Wars and Marvel skins, and plans have been made to include Pixar and Avatar skins after their agreement. Disney hopes that this collaboration project will attract Disney fans to Fortnite’s community and open-ended gameplay by creating a persistent “metaverse” that will soon be home to different Disney-owned IPs.

According to Robert Iger, the CEO of Disney, this joint effort will be Disney’s biggest step into the gaming industry, which marks a new shift of perspective for more growth and expansion for the company. Epic Games is the proprietor and creator of the Unreal Engine, which has been extensively used by the Walt Disney Company to produce their media with Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, The Mandalorian, Kingdom Hearts 3, and their theme park rides. This is all in part due to Disney’s research effort called the Accelerator Program and Epic Games’ participation in this program.

Epic Games has been seeing acquisition after acquisition with many gigantic companies looking to own a stake in the studio. Tencent was the first stakeholder, with 40% ownership of their stock as an effort for Epic Games to adopt their current live service game model. This led to the creation of Fortnite’s famous battle pass monetization system. Next was Sony and Kirkbi A/S, the parent company of the Lego Group. Their purchase of Epic Games shares was what started Fortnite’s Lego mode feature and heralded Epic Game’s initiative to expand the game beyond its battle royale roots and become a platform for other games akin to Roblox and Minecraft.

2024 is shaping up to be Fortnite’s biggest year, with multiple collaborations from different IPs and expansion into a game platform. The game may potentially see a surge in popularity thanks to the inclusion of Disney’s partial ownership over Epic Games. Given Disney’s wide appeal, this may become a reality.

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