By: Nick Gambino
Disney plans to create their own gaming universe and they’ve tapped Fortnite creator Epic Games to do it. As part of the deal, Disney is investing $1.5 billion into the gaming company to acquire an equity stake.
“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,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an official statement. “This marks Disney’s biggest entry ever into the world of games and offers significant opportunities for growth and expansion.”
The idea is to not only develop new games with Epic but to work hand in hand to craft a fully immersive gaming world packed with content. This is where players and users will play, shop, watch and generally engage with a ton of Disney content. This includes Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, Avatar and a lot more.
The idea is to put the Disney brand front and center where a lot of people under the age of 40 are spending so much time – their gaming console or PC. They’re describing this new platform or ecosystem as a persistent universe. Really, it’s going to be a central meeting ground for Fortnite players and those who play Disney-branded games.
This isn’t the first time Disney has partnered with Epic Games. They’ve licensed Marvel characters like Iron Man, Ant-Man, Black Widow, Black Panther to be used in Fortnite. The same goes for Star Wars with skins for Kylo Ren, Rey, the Mandalorian, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, etc.
Epic Games has not been shy about going to battle with some titans. They’ve gone to court/battle against both Google and Apple, challenging their long-standing app store fees. What’s more, they won against Google. This move with Marvel shows they’re willing to play in the same sandbox as long as it’s fair.