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After Years of Epic Collaborations, Fortnite Set to Work with Disney Next

Since Fornite’s initial release, developer Epic Games has smartly used partnerships to boost its growth. Just last December, Epic Games announced a partnership with mega toy brand Lego. In this collaboration, players were introduced to Lego Fortnite, which is a themed survival mode of the battle royale game. As if this partnership weren’t impressive enough, Epic Games just recently shared that they’d be working with another industry titan this year—Disney.

The new Disney x Fortnite megaverse

Earlier this February, Epic Games and The Walt Disney Company publicly reported that they’d formally entered into an expansive agreement. Under this, the companies will create and release a brand-new gaming and entertainment universe centered on Disney experiences. Disney’s press release explained that “the new persistent universe will offer a multitude of opportunities for consumers to play, watch, shop and engage with content, characters and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar and more.” This new content will use the Unreal Engine, be interoperable with Fortnite, and will mark Disney’s biggest foray into gaming.

According to reports, Disney has also taken offered up $1.5 billion in funding for Epic Games. Providing this has given the media company a 9% stake in the game developer, which underscores how seriously Disney sees itself expanding into gaming. Of course, such initiatives into new territories and strategic partnerships with arguably bigger entities aren’t new for Fortnite.

A history of partnerships and innovations

To date, Statista notes that there are about 500 million Fortnite players worldwide. Epic Games has wisely optimized this large player pool by consistently churning out game iterations to retain relevance. For instance, in 2021, at the height of the Among Us popularity, Epic Games introduced a new gaming mode called Fortnite Impostors. In this setup, groups of 10 are divided into two teams of Agents and Impostors that are required to complete tasks around a base while also rooting out impostors or overcoming suspicion, respectively. The development of this mode helped retain Fortnite’s playing pool while also attracting new players into their universe.

Another way that Fortnite makes the most of its scale and player population is via lucrative partnerships. As mentioned earlier, Fortnite has a long history of working with big names to help boost its credibility and add more flavor to its content. Interestingly, these collabs aren’t limited to the digital realm either. To illustrate, in November 2023, Fortnite released limited-edition specs with Oakley. The performance apparel brand is perhaps most known for its eyewear, including a number of specific gaming glasses. These include their Helux and Hydra models, which are specially designed for gamers with features like blue-light filtering and visual acuity-enhancing Prizm Gaming 2.0 lenses, slimmer arms to fit under headsets, and lightweight O-Matter frames for ensured comfort during extended wear. In their collab, these same models were released in special Fortnite-inspired colorways with etchings of the coveted Victory Crown.

Another 2023 partnership that extended to physical goods saw Fortnite working with fashion house Ralph Lauren. This included releasing a “phygital” fashion collection, wherein players could buy exclusive racing and aviation-inspired items. Aside from the branded clothing that players could deck their characters out in, both the Fortnite and Ralph Lauren websites put up 300 physical versions of the racing boots for sale. Called the Polo x Fortnite P-Wing Boots, this release was met with critical acclaim, much like Fortnite’s other partnerships.

What to expect from Fortnite’s Disney Chapter

Presently, there have yet to be any concrete announcements on what this formal partnership will create. It can be speculated, though, that it’ll offer up a more fleshed-out approach to the past Disney and Fortnite crossovers. Previously, Fortnite seasons included battle skins of Disney characters. For example, Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 4 included Gwen Stacy in her Spiderverse suit. Prior to this, Mystique, Spiderman, and Darth Vader have made appearances as battle pass skins, too.

On top of this, Disney and Epic Games held the highly successful Marvel Nexus War with Galactus integration. This crossover event alone drew more than 15 million concurrent players. With these past releases in mind, it’s safe to say that players can look forward to more skins, extensive live activations, and even new gaming modes and events that’ll have Disney and Fortnite fans clamoring.