Get in line for the battle bus, Disney adults, because the entertainment company just spent $1.5 billion for a minority stake in Epic Games. Best known as the creator of Fortnite, Epic Games will reportedly work with Disney on a "new universe" where players can "play, watch, shop and engage with content, characters and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar and more." So, if you've been holding out on Disney+ being the IP umbrella where Homer Simpson and Baby Yoda finally join the Avengers, it seems Disney has another space in mind.
Disney CEO Bob Iger called the investment, "probably our biggest foray into the game space ever," during an interview with CNBC. Though the media giant had licensed playable characters from Marvel and Star Wars to Fortnite before, this is the company's most biggest commitment to gaming yet. "Which I think is 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 continued. Even millennials... that hurt a little bit.
Even though Epic Games released Fortnite in the summer of 2017, the game has only risen in popularity. The studio revealed that they had over 350 million registered players back in 2020, though the company doesn't release total live user numbers. The battle-royale shooter also includes the ability for players to look like characters from popular anime, musicians such as Travis Scott, and even athletes like LeBron James.
The new partnership was also announced alongside Disney+'s addition of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert film, which will debut on March 15. So, if you had to double take at the first song in Swift's new album being "Fortnight" and not "Fortnite," join the conspiracy club. There's still a chance that the popular singer will be waxing poetic about Tilted Towers and getting nerfed. Maybe you'll even be able to play as Taylor Swift in-game. If that wouldn't break the Internet for good, I don't know what would.
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