While Epic Games is technically an independent studio, it does have several huge investors. Companies like Tencent and Sony have been quick to buy up shares in the company and now, Disney, perhaps the largest entertainment company in the world, is buying up a piece.
Disney is acquiring a minority stake in Epic Games for a breezy $1.5 billion USD. As you might expect, Disney is looking to leverage its new partnership with Epic to further advertise its own IP, including properties like Star Wars and Marvel, to more traditional Disney and Pixar IP. This won't just be a string of limited-time Fortnite events though, instead, Disney and Epic are said to be building a new “persistent universe”.
According to Disney CEO, Bob Iger, this marks Disney's “biggest entry ever into the world of games”. Utilising Unreal Engine, Disney wants to build a “world-class games experience” that “interoperates” with Fortnite. Exactly what that means remains to be seen but it would seem that there may be a set of ‘Disney' worlds on the way within Epic's massively successful free-to-play game.
Given a recent string of very expensive lawsuits against the likes of Apple and Google to challenge their mobile app store dominance, as well as a massive loss on the balance sheet via the Epic Games Store, Epic Games is no doubt pleased with this new investment. The company had to undergo lay-offs last year due to finances but an investment like this should keep Epic on the right track and there will no doubt be other major companies looking to invest too should more funds be needed.
We don't know exactly how big of a stake Disney has bought in Epic Games, but it is a minority stake, so there are no takeover concerns.
Discuss on our Facebook page, HERE.
KitGuru Says: It will be interesting to see what the final results are after this investment. It sounds like Disney wants its own version of Fortnite, filled with its own IP. Such an undertaking will take quite some time to put together.