Epic Games is best known for the hugely popular online game Fortnite
Disney began a major push into the video game industry with the introduction of a 1.5 game dollar. billion (£1.2 billion) has struck a deal with the creator of Fortnite.
The media company will work with Epic Games to create a new “permanent universe” of characters and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars films wars.” franchises.
As part of the multi-year agreement, Disney will invest $1.5 billion in exchange for a stake in Epic Games.
Disney, which already licenses its brands to games like Spider-Man, has an existing relationship with Epic Games through content deals and live events, including Marvel Nexus War with Galactus, which has attracted more than 15.3 million players.
Epic's 3D technology, Unreal Engine, has also been used in video games, animations and theme park attractions.
Disney CEO Bob Iger says the deal is the company's “biggest exit in gaming history.” Photo: HANNAH MCKAY/REUTERS
However, Disney chief executive Bob Iger said the latest deal was the company's “largest exit ever” in gaming, adding that it “opens up significant opportunities for growth and expansion.”
Epic Games is best known for Fortnite , a wildly popular online game that has become a cultural phenomenon and has repeatedly broken streaming records during the pandemic. .
The North Carolina-based company was valued at $32 billion in 2022 thanks to investments from Sony and Lego.
Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, said: “Disney was one of the first companies to believe in the potential of combining its worlds with ours in Fortnite and use the Unreal Engine in their portfolio.
“We are now working on something completely new to create a sustainable, open and interoperable ecosystem that will unite the Disney and Fortnite communities.”
This comes after Disney announced a $3 billion share buyback and increased its dividend as strong performance at its theme parks led to a surge in profits.
The Hollywood titan is preparing for battle with activist investor Nelson Peltz, who has criticized the company over issues such as executive pay and poor succession planning.
Disney said it had cut costs by $500 million. costs in the first quarter and was on track to meet its goal of $7.5 billion in savings this year.