The collaboration involves Disney acquiring a $1.5 billion stake in Epic Games. This partnership aims to create a metaverse that integrates Disney’s extensive collection of intellectual properties (IPs), offering a unique blend of interaction and coexistence with the established user base of Fortnite, which boasts around 400 million registered users.
The agreement, announced on Feb. 7, signifies a strategic move by Disney to leverage its iconic IPs such as Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and Avatar within a “new persistent universe.” The Universe is intended to provide users with a comprehensive experience that includes playing, watching, shopping, and engaging with content and characters from these beloved franchises.
The initiative is described as a “multiyear project” and represents Disney’s most substantial foray into the gaming world to date.
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, expressed enthusiasm about the venture, highlighting the opportunity it presents for growth and expansion. He underscored the significance of this initiative as Disney’s most ambitious entry into the gaming domain, eagerly anticipating the new ways fans will engage with Disney stories and worlds.
The latest move comes after Disney’s previous attempts to establish a foothold in the metaverse under former CEO Bob Chapek and Mike White, SVP of next-generation storytelling and consumer experiences. Despite initial claims of the metaverse being the “next great storytelling frontier,” Disney’s earlier metaverse strategy faced setbacks, leading to the dissolution of its metaverse division in April 2023 amid company-wide layoffs affecting 7,000 employees.
In addition to this venture, Disney has earlier announced a collaboration with Dapper Labs, known for the NBA Top Shot collection, to launch a new NFT mobile app named Disney Pinnacle. The app features unique digital collectibles in the form of badges and utilizes the Flow blockchain for its operations.