Disney recently revealed a multiyear collaboration and a $1.5 billion equity stake acquisition in Epic Games, signaling a move towards the development of a themed metaverse space.
According to an official statement released on February 7, Disney’s primary focus will be on leveraging Fortnite to introduce new games and build an “entertainment universe” powered by Unreal Engine.
The digital space will offer fans the opportunity to shop, play, and engage with content and characters from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and more. Within it, users will also have the ability to create their own experiences.
This collaboration builds upon the longstanding history of partnership between Disney and Epic Games, with previous ventures drawing in millions of players through Fortnite and live events. Notably, the Marvel Nexus War event saw a peak of 15.3 million players.
Epic’s Unreal Engine has also played a pivotal role in crafting popular video games such as Kingdom Hearts 3 and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, as well as contributing to cinematic editing, animation, and the development of 15 attractions at Disney Parks.
This new strategic partnership with Epic Games marks another step for Disney into the Web3 space. The company has been actively exploring new, immersive initiatives since 2021, starting with a collaboration with digital collectible platform VeVe for the release of NFTs featuring Disney characters. In 2022, Disney CEO Bob Chapek hinted at Disney+ potentially evolving into an immersive lifestyle platform, enabling users to experience park rides virtually.
Further expanding its presence in the virtual realm, Disney partnered with Apple in 2023 to bring Disney+ to Apple’s VR headset “Vision Pro.” Additionally, in November 2023, the company collaborated with NBA Top Shot creator Dapper Labs to develop a Web3 platform for NFTs.