Fortnite is often home to big crossovers, usually promoted with the headline of Property X Fortnite! Just days before a new event starts though, developer Epic Games have had a completely different type of collaboration to announce. A huge Disney X Epic Games investment and partnership has been announced. Disney is investing $1.5 billion into the company.
The two companies are no strangers. Fortnite already features Disney content heavily. That’s along with Epic’s growing work on the production side of TV and film powering some fo Disney’s landmark projects. This new round of investment will ensure a closer relationship though. What does it mean for Epic’s future projects and Fortnite?
Disney X Epic Games – New Collaboration to Expand Partnership
Disney, for quite a while now, has been a significant partner for Epic Games. They’ve stepped that partnership up this week by announcing that they’ve invested $1.5 billion into the developer. This new partnership will see Disney take a more active role with the developer, becoming explicably tied to their fortunes. While we don’t expect Disney to be running Fortnite esports, equity in the company means their goals will be aligned.
The new collaboration has been explained by Disney as helping to grow a “consistent universe”. This is specifically in relation to Fortnite, where they want to make new games and experiences from their properties like Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and Avatar. Disney isn’t just targeting Fortnite though, but wider projects using the Unreal Engine.
Disney has chosen not to take an active role in video games of their properties for some time now. Even shutting down the popular and ground-breaking LucasArts development studio after acquiring Lucasfilm. They’ve instead preferred to charge other devs for use of their IP. For Epic though, it’s been clear for a while that there was more cross pollination happening than with most tie ins.
More Disney Content Coming to Fortnite
Even before this new Disney X Epic Games collaboration, they’ve been a heavy feature. Nearly every Battle Pass for some time has featured Disney owned properties. Often, right at the time that character or franchise needs a drop of promotion for its release. The item store is never far from a Disney owned collab. They’ve even received Lego versions, something most Fortnite collabs have been left out of.
Epic Games for their part brings more than Fortnite to the table. The Unreal Engine is behind an impressive role in production of film and TV. The Epic Games technology used on the Mandalorian has been an impressive showcase of how the engine has gone beyond just games.
This new Disney X Epic Games collaboration will likely see more of this collaborative work. However, the announcement so far also discusses the future. The language used seems to tie in to Epic’s efforts to make Fortnite a platform. Its reminiscent of Lego’s investments into Epic Games, which culminated not in Battle Royale by the Fortnite Lego mode. With a tease for future games included here, it is possible we’ll see Epic Games as the driving force for future Disney games, instead of just skins in Battle Royale.