Disney Makes a Metaverse Move With $1.5 Billion Investment in Fortnite Maker Epic Games


The Walt Disney Company is going all in on the metaverse with a massive $1.5 billion investment in Epic Games, the company behind the hugely popular online game Fortnite.

This deal gives Disney a foothold in the emerging digital world of interconnected virtual spaces and could dramatically expand the entertainment giant’s audience.

Why is Disney Investing in Epic Games and the Metaverse?

Disney’s investment comes as technology companies like Meta (formerly Facebook) have already invested billions into building their own metaverse platforms.

While definitions vary, the metaverse generally refers to persistent online social spaces where users can interact through digital avatars.

Fortnite alone has hundreds of millions of registered users worldwide.

This massive built-in audience offers Disney a prime opportunity to bring its iconic characters and franchises like Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar into new immersive gaming experiences.

By creating a “Disneyverse” within Fortnite, the company can engage younger generations in a familiar environment.

It likely involves deep integrations with Fortnite, which already features plenty of Disney IP, becoming a virtual theme park of sorts for Disney fans.

Rather than rely solely on traditional film and television, Disney can tell its stories in bold new ways – while also exploring fresh revenue streams through in-game purchases.

What Will the Disney Metaverse Look Like in Fortnite?

Fortnite released a video showing early concept art with a Disney-themed island (Map) divided into different lands:

  • Marvel
  • Star Wars
  • Pixar
  • Avatar

disney map

Players would be able to explore these themed areas, interact with characters, play games, shop for virtual items, and more.

Disney also plans to develop a persistent online world separate from Fortnite.

This more fully-featured metaverse could allow for even deeper social connections and gameplay possibilities.

What Does Epic Get Out of the Deal?

For Epic, this gives Fortnite and Unreal Engine access to some of the most valuable IPs in the world.

Integrating Disney characters and settings can help grow Fortnite’s audience and cement its position as a top metaverse contender.

The investment also provides major financial support for Epic’s metaverse ambitions.

Epic has been spending big to expand Fortnite into a broader experience, even running at a loss recently according to CEO Tim Sweeney.

During the Apple Vs Epic Case, they revealed the Epic Game store was still not a profitable entity incurring over $300 Million loss last year.

Disney’s cash infusion will help Epic weather those costs as it continues growing.

As per Statista, Epic generated around $5.6 billion of revenue in 2023 and will cross $6 billion in 2025.

This milestone seems achievable when Disney’s princesses and superheroes hit the Epic Game Store.

The Future of Disney in the Metaverse

This partnership has major implications for the trajectory of the metaverse.

With two giant companies combining forces, it represents one of the most significant commitments yet to developing robust virtual worlds.

Disney’s brand power and Epic’s tech expertise are a potent mix.

If they deliver an engaging and accessible Disney metaverse experience, it could demonstrate the concept to skeptics and accelerate broader adoption.

Kids in particular, as a prime Fortnite demographic and major Disney fans, could help drive stronger metaverse uptake.

If the Disney metaverse succeeds, it could unlock transformational new storytelling possibilities and revenue streams.

Report – According to CoinJournal.net, the global metaverse gaming market is set to rise from $14.2 billion in 2023 to $168.4 billion by 2030.

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