Disney Invests $1.5 Billion in Fortnite's Epic Games

By Patricia Miller

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Disney invests $1.5B in Epic Games, blending Star Wars, Marvel, and Avatar into Fortnite, showcasing innovation and growth in gaming.

PC gaming. Playing Fortnite video game on computer. Disney invests.

What You Need To Know

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) is making a significant move into the gaming sector by investing $1.5 billion in Epic Games Inc., the creator of Fortnite. This partnership is set to bring Disney's iconic properties, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Avatar, into the Fortnite universe, allowing fans to engage with these characters in a new and interactive way.

Beyond gaming, the collaboration will extend to new game titles and Disney's theme parks, marking Disney's most ambitious venture into gaming yet.

Disney CEO Bob Iger highlights this as a pivotal step for growth and expansion in the gaming world.

This move is a turnaround from Disney's previous struggles in the gaming industry, where it faced challenges in developing successful titles in-house, leading to the shutdown of much of its game operations in 2016. Since then, Disney has shifted its strategy to licensing its properties to external developers, a move that has included partnerships with companies like Electronic Arts Inc. and Sony Group.

The partnership with Epic Games is not new; it builds on years of collaboration, including the Disney Accelerator program, which supports smaller companies. Epic Games has previously integrated Disney characters into Fortnite and used Disney's Unreal Engine software for game development.

Epic's CEO, Tim Sweeney, expressed enthusiasm about deepening this relationship by bringing Disney worlds into Fortnite.

This collaboration is part of a broader trend of Disney engaging in partnerships to enhance its presence in the digital and gaming landscapes, following a similar investment by Kirkbi, the company behind Lego, in Epic Games to create branded online experiences.

The DIS stock price today reflects the market's reaction to Disney's latest earnings report and strategic investments in digital and gaming sectors.

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Why This Is Important for Retail Investors

  1. Expansion into New Markets: Disney's investment in Epic Games signals a strategic expansion into the gaming industry, a sector with exponential growth potential. For retail investors, this diversification could mean a stronger, more resilient portfolio for Disney, potentially leading to increased stock value over time as the company taps into new revenue streams.

    Investing in Disney offers exposure to a vast portfolio of intellectual property, theme parks, and a growing presence in the streaming and gaming industries.

  2. Innovative Content Delivery: The collaboration between Disney and Epic Games introduces innovative ways to engage with Disney's intellectual property, beyond traditional media. This can attract a younger, tech-savvy demographic, potentially boosting the appeal and longevity of Disney's franchises. For investors, the ability of a company to innovate and stay relevant is crucial for long-term success.

  3. Partnership with a Leading Game Developer: Epic Games is a leader in the gaming industry, known for its successful titles and game development engine. Disney's partnership with Epic offers access to cutting-edge technology and creative expertise, enhancing Disney's product offerings. For retail investors, investing in companies that partner with industry leaders can offer a competitive edge.

  4. Increased Brand Engagement: Integrating Disney's characters and themes into popular games like Fortnite can significantly enhance brand visibility and engagement. This can lead to increased merchandise sales, theme park visits, and consumption of Disney media. For investors, heightened brand engagement is a positive indicator of potential revenue growth and customer loyalty.

  5. Strategic Shift After Past Struggles: Disney's previous challenges in the gaming sector highlight the company's need for a revised strategy. This partnership represents a strategic shift to licensing and collaboration, rather than in-house development, potentially reducing risks and capital expenditure associated with game development. For retail investors, Disney's adaptability and willingness to pivot strategies for better market alignment can be a positive sign of managerial acumen and long-term viability.

How Can You Use This Information?

Here are some of the investing ideas that can be explored using this information:

Growth Investing

This strategy focuses on companies expected to grow at an above-average rate compared to their industry or the overall market. The partnership between Disney and Epic Games represents a strategic move into a high-growth industry, leveraging popular and evergreen franchises in innovative ways. For investors, this signals potential for substantial future earnings growth as Disney taps into the lucrative gaming market, making it an attractive opportunity for growth investing.

Learn more in our article titled 'What is Growth Investing?'.

Disney investor relations provides shareholders with up-to-date financial information, strategic direction, and insights into the company's future growth plans.

Event-Driven Strategy

This investment strategy exploits stock price movements generated by corporate events such as mergers, acquisitions, or significant partnerships. Disney's investment in Epic Games is a major event that could lead to short-term stock price volatility and long-term strategic advantages. For investors, this presents an opportunity to benefit from the market's reaction to the news and Disney's enhanced positioning in the gaming industry.

Thematic Investing

Thematic investing involves building a portfolio around specific themes expected to drive future growth. The collaboration between Disney and Epic Games fits into several compelling investment themes, such as digital transformation, entertainment evolution, and technology adoption. Investors can capitalize on the broader trend of traditional media companies entering digital and interactive spaces, suggesting a promising horizon for companies positioned at the intersection of entertainment and technology.

Sector Rotation

A Sector Rotation strategy involves moving investments from one sector to another based on cyclical trends. DIS stock has shown resilience, reflecting Disney's diversified entertainment empire and its strategic growth initiatives. With Disney's foray into gaming through its partnership with Epic Games, investors might see this as an opportune time to rotate into the technology and entertainment sectors, which are poised for growth due to increasing digital consumption and the expanding video game market.

This move exemplifies how sector rotation can capitalize on shifting industry dynamics and consumer preferences, aiming for higher returns by investing in sectors with upward momentum.

Innovation-Focused Investing

This approach targets companies that are leaders in innovation within their sectors, driving forward with new products, services, or technologies. Disney's strategic partnership with Epic Games highlights its commitment to innovation, not just in content creation but in the platforms and mediums through which it engages audiences. For investors, this signifies an opportunity to invest in a company that is actively shaping the future of entertainment and technology convergence.

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This article does not provide any financial advice and is not a recommendation to deal in any securities or product. Investments may fall in value and an investor may lose some or all of their investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Patricia Miller does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Patricia Miller has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of ValueTheMarkets.com, does not hold a position or positions in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of ValueTheMarkets.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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