Disney to invest $1.5 billion in Epic Games, maker of Fortnite

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Disney is investing $1.5 billion for a stake in Epic Games, CEO Bob Iger said Wednesday, in his biggest bet yet on the gaming field.

The media giant will work with Fortnite studios to create new games and an entertainment universe where users can “play, watch, shop and interact with content, characters and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar and more ,” Disney. said in a press release.

Disney did not say what the valuation of Epic, a privately held company, would be after the media company’s financing.

Disney CEO Bob Iger: Disney enters strategic partnership with Epic Games

In an interview with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin, Iger called the investment “probably our biggest foray into the gaming space ever.” “

“I think that’s not only timely, but an important step when you look at the demographic trends and where Gen Alpha and Gen Z and even millennials are spending their time and media,” he said. .

The partnership comes after Disney successfully franchised figures such as Spider-Man for major video games, and collaborated with Epic to bring characters from Marvel, Star Wars, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Tron ” and bring more to Fortnite.

The agreement also extends a series of key partnerships for Epic.

Fortnite has recently collaborated with Lego for a survival crafting game within the gaming platform similar to Minecraft. It also launched Fortnite Festival, a rhythm game from Harmonix, the creator of the Rock Band game.

“Disney was one of the first companies to believe in the ability to merge their world with ours in Fortnite, and they use Unreal Engine across their portfolio,” said founder Epic Games and CEO Tim Sweeney in a statement. “Now we’re collaborating on something completely new to build a continuous, open and interactive ecosystem that brings together the Disney and Fortnite communities.

Aside from Fortnite, Epic Games is known for being challenging Apple and Google in court to force them to reduce their app store fees. Sweeney was personally involved in both challenges, from the planning stages to testimony in court.

He won against Google, although that decision is expected to be appealed, and narrowly lost against Apple.

— CNBC’s Kif Leswing contributed to this report.

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