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Disney gives Epic $1.5B to build a Fortnite-related 'persistent universe'

Media And Entertainment

 Disney gives Epic $1.5B

The creators of Fortnite, Epic Games, and Disney are collaborating to create an "expansive and open games and entertainment universe." Disney disclosed that it is investing $1.5 billion for an ownership share in Epic as part of the announcement.

Although there are few details available, Disney describes this project as akin to the metaverse as follows:

The new permanent universe will give players a plethora of options to play, watch, shop, and interact with material, characters, and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar, and more, in addition to having a top-notch gaming experience and integrating with Fortnite. In addition to sharing content with one another in ways they adore, players, gamers, and fans will be able to craft their own tales and experiences and show off their passion in a very Disney way. All of this will be made possible via the Unreal Engine.

That seems a lot like what Epic and Lego did recently. The $2 billion investment that Epic received in 2022—which was divided between Sony and KIRKBI, an investment firm run by the Lego family—led to the release of the survival game Lego Fortnite earlier this year. 

When it comes to the idea of creating a metaverse, Epic has been a very prominent voice, but Disney recently seems to be stepping back from the project after disbanding its dedicated metaverse team last year. Epic also just reduced its personnel by a significant amount, laying off sixteen percent of its worforce in September.

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