Fortnite News: Disney Buys into Epic Games

Feb 27, 2024

Social Media Platforms

Fortnite News: Disney Buys into Epic Games

Ready to drop in to Disney? 

Walt Disney Co. announced earlier this month that it has purchased a $1.5 billion stake in Epic Games. On top of this, Disney will continue its licensing with popular video game Fortnite, and is working on an experience for the game. 

This is Disney’s biggest foray into the gaming industry yet. After the company’s shift to licensing in 2016, many are surprised at this major gamble. 

Will Disney’s new venture be successful? If so, what does that mean for Fortnite and Disney fans? 

We have all the information on this latest Fortnite news updates, so read on to find out more. 


Fortnite news

Disney and Epic Games’ relationship dates back to 2017, when Epic Games participated in the Disney Accelerator program. Since then, Disney has been seeking to incorporate Fortnite’s cast of characters into their “digital playground.”

In the years since, Disney and Epic Games have made Fortnite news by teaming up on multiple collaborative projects, each bringing in hundreds of millions of players. The most notable occurrence of Disney in Fortnite was the Marvel Nexus War with Galactus, which brought in 15.3 million concurrent players. 

Thus, Disney choosing to deepen its relationship with Epic Games is not that big of a surprise. Yet, its contents, and the future of this deal, are causing many to raise eyebrows at this latest Fortnite news. 

So far, little is known about the extent of this decision. Disney announced that along with their new stake in Epic Games, they will be releasing a “new expansive, open, persistent, and social universe that will ‘interoperate’ with Fortnite and let fans ‘play, watch, shop and engage’ with their favourite characters and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar, and more.”

What this Fortnite news actually entails is yet to be seen. It is likely that the experience will include new skins and worlds inspired by the Disney universes. If done correctly, this move could bring together the Disney and Fortnite fanbases, and breathe new life into Fortnite; the continued relevance of Fortnite has been a topic of hot debate for some time now. 

Disney has claimed that the project will span multiple years, and is yet to definitively provide a release date. The project will be powered by Unreal Engine; the same Epic Games owned software that Disney has used in the past to create assets and content for their animated films and video games such as Kingdom Hearts 3. 

In its announcement, Disney proclaimed that their decision to expand their connection with the gaming industry is spurred by a desire to meet their consumers where they are. 

In recent studies it has been found that Gen Z, Gen Alpha and even millennials, spend more time playing video games on their phones, computers and consoles, than they do watching television and movies. Given that Disney seeks to engage with this demographic, it is easy to understand why they would wish to dive head first into the gaming industry. 


Creating a new universe ✨ @disney x Epic Games ?

♬ original sound – Fortnite Official

Yet, why now? 

As previously mentioned, Disney switched to games licensing in 2016. Prior to this, the brand had tried their hand at creating video games to little success. 

Disney famously struggled greatly to turn a profit through making video games, with even their most popular games such as Disney Infinity failing to make the company any substantial money. Disney Interactive Studios, the company’s gaming division, was at one stage losing $200 million annually. 

As a result, the brand changed course, and became a leading games licensor. 

By working with best-in-class developers and publishers, Disney has been able to become incredibly successful in this field. In fact, Marvel’s Spider-Man is the most popular superhero game out there at present. 

However, it seems that this was not enough for Disney. It appears the brand has decided to follow in the footsteps of many of their colleagues, and get more involved in the gaming industry. 

2023 saw a myriad of brands from all industries engaging with the gaming world. For example, Fenty Beauty and E.L.F cosmetics both partnered up with Roblox to create in-game experiences for their fans. 

These kinds of activations are incredibly successful with this younger consumer base, given that they spend the majority of their time on video games such as Fortnite. 

Indeed, Fortnite has an astoundingly large reach. Since its creation, the game has quickly become one of the most popular video games of the modern era. In November of 2023, the game recorded 44.7 million simultaneous players. Even with much of the current Fortnite news describing its waining relevance, it is still an incredibly popular platform. 

fortnite news


Ultimately, whilst we are still in the dark on what exactly Disney’s stake in Epic Games entails, this Fortnite news has the potential to be a roaring success. 

As mentioned previously, brands have been experiencing huge levels of success in their engagements with the gaming industry. If done correctly – as in, done in a manner that protects the essence of Fortnite as well as honours the Disney universe – there is a great chance that players will love the union of these two communities. 

In the past, players have responded incredibly well to Disney activations within Fortnite. Thus, Disney simply has to follow its own rule book, and this Fortnite news should be a resounding success. 

However, finding a way to perfectly meld the Fortnite and Disney universes in a Fortnite update will be a challenge. 

In the past, Fortnite has struggled to keep users interested in its activations. Experiences such as Lego Fortnite whilst initially incredibly successful, have struggled to keep users interested in the long run. This is primarily due to the fact that Fortnite is known as a gun based, quick shooting, action game. Experiences and maps that deviate from this, often alienate the game’s loyal fans. 

In this manner, creating a Fortnite experience that goes beyond this shooter game play, but still keeps players active for more than a few months, will be a difficult task indeed. 

On the financial side of this Fortnite news, Disney’s stock rose by 11% after it announced its decision. This, of course, was also fuelled by the company’s announcement of its sports television venture with Fox, Warner Bros., and ESPN. 

Many are curious how far Disney could take this new relationship. Some have claimed that Disney may continue its licensing and allow this intellectual property exchange to swing the other way; meaning, a Fortnite cinematic universe or TV series could be on the horizon. 

This may seem like a bold claim, but Disney is known for making anything and everything into a franchise. 

From a marketing point of view, Disney’s choice to buy a stake in Epic Games follows one of the oldest tricks in the book; targetting your consumers where they spend the most time. Disney’s decision is intelligent, and should reap great rewards if it is carried out successfully.

Needless to say, gamers across the world are keeping an eye on Fortnite news updates to see how this decision turns out.

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Ella Proctor

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