The Walt Disney Company announced Wednesday that it will collaborate with Fortnite and Rocket League owner Epic Games on a “multiyear project,” and will also invest $1.5B USD in the company to acquire an equity stake. Disney joins other big investors in the Cary, North Carolina-based developer including Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings and Sony, among others. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney remains the largest shareholder with a roughly 51.4% controlling stake—at least prior to this transaction occurring. The investment is still subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.
“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,” said Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “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.”
“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,” said Tim Sweeney, CEO and Founder, Epic Games. “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.”
The new multiyear deal will see Epic Games and Disney work together on building a “new persistent universe” that includes interoperability with Fortnite, and offers consumers to play, watch, shop, and engage with content, characters, and stories” from its various owned IPs including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar, and more. This project will be built using Epic’s Unreal Engine technology.
Disney did not disclose publicly just how much of a stake it would take in Epic Games, nor what the company’s valuation was going into the deal.