Disney CEO Bob Iger made a significant announcement during the company’s earnings call on Wednesday, revealing plans for a substantial investment of $1.5 billion in Epic Games, a company based in Cary. Epic Games is widely recognized as the developer behind the immensely popular online game Fortnite. This move signifies a deepening of the relationship between Disney and Epic Games, as the two have previously collaborated to introduce playable characters from Disney properties into Fortnite.
Iger elaborated on Disney’s vision for this partnership, indicating a desire to co-create a new virtual reality universe alongside Epic Games. Additionally, Disney intends to leverage this collaboration to develop new games and entertainment experiences that incorporate characters and narratives from its extensive portfolio, spanning Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and other intellectual properties. This ambitious endeavor is described by Iger as a groundbreaking initiative that marks Disney’s most significant foray yet into the realm of gaming, presenting substantial opportunities for growth and expansion.
In response to the announcement, Iger expressed excitement about the prospects of merging Disney’s beloved brands and franchises with the immense popularity of Fortnite, anticipating an innovative convergence in gaming and entertainment. Tim Sweeney, CEO and Founder of Epic Games, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the unique opportunity to establish a persistent, open, and interoperable ecosystem that bridges the Disney and Fortnite communities. This collaboration represents a new frontier in storytelling and engagement, facilitated by Epic Games’ cutting-edge technology and Fortnite’s inclusive platform.
Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Experiences, emphasized the transformative potential of this partnership, envisioning a seamless integration of Disney’s vast collection of stories and experiences to reach a broad audience in unprecedented ways. The synergies between Disney’s storytelling prowess and Epic Games’ technological expertise are poised to redefine the landscape of interactive entertainment, offering consumers immersive and personalized experiences tailored to their preferences.
The announcement coincided with Disney’s positive earnings report, surpassing expectations and prompting a 7% surge in the company’s shares during extended trading. Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht expressed optimism about the investment’s implications for Epic Games and the local community, anticipating a fruitful long-term partnership between Epic and Disney. Recognizing the global impact of both companies’ offerings, Weinbrecht looks forward to witnessing the collaborative efforts unfold and the role Cary, NC, will play in this exciting journey of innovation and creativity.