Disney invests $1.5 billion in Epic Games to create a new “entertainment universe”

Disney has announced that it is investing $1.5 billion in Epic Games. The press release, which was accompanied by the teaser video below, says that the “equity stake” creates a financial partnership that will see both companies “collaborate on an all-new games and entertainment universe that will further expand the reach of beloved Disney stories and experiences”. The promise is that “a new Universe will emerge”, allowing players to “play, watch, create, [and] shop” while “discover[ing] a place where magic is Epic”.

While a $1.5 billion investment sounds significant on its face, it only represents a small portion of a company like Epic, which was valued at $32 billion in a 2022 investment by Sony. Since 2012, nearly half of Epic has been owned by Chinese gaming conglomerate Tencent (market cap: $356 billion), an association that has led to some controversy for Epic in the recent past.

Ars Technica

Disney’s use of Epic’s Unreal Engine already ranges from cinematic editing to theme park experiences like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This will now be accompanied by, one assumes, more, largely UE-based game development and a “persistent universe” that will “interoperate with (Epic’s) Fortnite” while offering games and “a multitude of opportunities for consumers to play, watch, shop and engage with content, characters, and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar, and more”.

Source: Ars Technica