What is the Disney x Epic Games collaboration and when will it arrive?

What is the Disney x Epic Games collaboration and when will it arrive?

If you didn’t already think Disney was taking over the world, their latest announcement alongside Epic Games should terrify you.

The entertainment conglomerate spent the first full week of February dropping announcement after announcement, with updates on a variety of upcoming projects fans have been holding their breath for. From a surprise tease of Moana 2, to the legendary Eras Tour film coming to Disney Plus, and even the reveal of Percy Jackson getting a second season, you’d think Disney would have enough money in their pockets from these projects.

Disney has invested $1.5 billion for a stake in Fortnite developer Epic Games. pic.twitter.com/25ypnmfyff

— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) February 7, 2024

But of course that wasn’t the end of the announcements, as Disney had to drop one last reveal on everyone. Except this time, it was a collaboration no one saw coming. Epic Games, the game studio responsible for Fortnite and the Gears of War series, is creating new open-world games and an “entertainment universe” with Disney. But it goes beyond just some Fortnite skins.

As detailed in our deep look into Fortnite collabs Disney has invested $1.2 billion into Epic Games, giving them an equity stake in the company. Though Epic isn’t 100% owned by Disney with this deal, it shows Disney’s desire to become more involved in the games released with Disney branding on them.

Since their main game development division Disney Interactive Studios closed its doors in 2016, Disney has typically opted to license their brands to 3rd party developers instead of making games in-house. AS such, Disney IP titles like Disney Dreamlight Valley, Lego The Incredibles, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order were all created by outside developers. The last game released to consoles that Disney had direct involvement in was Disney Illusion Island in July 2023. Before that, the last console game developed in-house was 2016’s Disney Infinity 3.0.

Image via Epic Games

Disney is no stranger to collaborating with Epic, as they’ve had several franchises make appearances in Fortnite over the years. While these games would still technically be outside collaborations, Disney’s investment in Epic Games shows they want to dip their toes back into the gaming market. What those games look like is anyone’s guess.

When Disney was still creating games in-house, their teams weren’t afraid to dabble in different genres, covering everything from party games to platformers, racing to MMORPGs, and much more. So realistically, Disney could be creating any number of games with Epic under this deal. The major project hinted at in the trailer, however, is a massive digital entertainment hub, similar to the Metaverse by Meta. As stated in their press release regarding the deal, this new universe will give visitors unique ways “to play, watch, shop and engage with content, characters and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar and more.”

Image via The Walt Disney Company

Fortnite has created many unique experiences within their game, from various artists performing live and pre-recorded concerts, to trailers for different movies being premiered in-game before being released to the rest of the Internet. Users of the game have also taken to Fortnite Creative to build original experiences for players, such as bringing Squid Games into Fortnite, or building various Call of Duty maps to play Fortnite in. Creating a virtual hub world for fans of Disney and its properties wouldn’t be too outlandish of a development project for Epic based on their past portfolio.

The deal is still relatively fresh, so there’s no word on what property will be the first to get a new game from Epic Games. Many major properties, like Spider-Man, Avatar, and Star Wars recently received new releases from other 3rd party developers, but considering how many new Star Wars and Marvel shows we get on Disney Plus a year, that definitely wouldn’t stop Disney from releasing more. We’ll keep this page updated as new games are announced as part of the Epic and Disney collab.

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