Disney and Epic: Forging the Future of Metaverse

in Games

Together collaborating in a completely new universe of games and entertainment that will further expand the reach of Disney's beloved stories and experiences.

Illustration:  Disney and Epic: Forging the Future

The big news in the entertainment industry this week: The Walt Disney Company and Epic Games will collaborate on an entirely new universe of games and entertainment that will further expand the reach of Disney's beloved stories and experiences. Disney will also invest $1.5 billion to acquire a stake in Epic Games along with the multi-year project.

In addition to being a gaming experience and interoperating with Fortnite, the new persistent universe will offer myriad opportunities for consumers to play, watch, purchase, and interact with content, characters, and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar, and more. Players, gamers, and fans will be able to create their own stories and experiences, express their distinctly Disney fandom, and share content with each other in the way they love. All of this will be powered by the Unreal Engine.

When I read this news, one of the first things that came to mind was the impressive accuracy of Netflix's competitors' analysis in its 2018 earnings report. At that time, it made headlines for being surprising. Not Amazon, Disney+, or Hulu. But you guessed it – Fortnite.

Netflix claimed: "Our growth depends on the excellence of our experience, compared to all other forms of entertainment vying for users' attention." And, lo and behold, they couldn't have been more correct. Since then, Fortnite's player base has skyrocketed, multiplying several times over, and Netflix has optimistically begun investing in the gaming universe, probably in an effort to capture some of that engagement magic that games offer.

We are witnessing a true convergence in the world of entertainment. The era of passive consumption is giving way to a new demand for interaction and engagement. People no longer want to be mere spectators; they want to be part of the story, influence its course, and interact with the content dynamically. I believe the gaming industry will emerge as a leader in the future of this new engagement dynamic.

The discussion about the #metaverse has largely revolved around its technological innovations, but perhaps the most revolutionary aspect is the cultural shift it represents. The collaboration between Disney and Epic Games may well herald this new era, combining Disney's masterful narrative art with the deep immersion that only Epic games offer.

Virtual events in Fortnite, such as the #TravisScott astronomical concert, which attracted an audience of over 27 million unique viewers, signal a future where the boundaries between different entertainment media become increasingly fluid.

This marriage between Disney and the gaming universe could rival, or even surpass, the charm of iconic destinations like the Disneyland Resort. After all, the metaverse promises an escape from reality with the bonus of being infinitely accessible, without the physical barriers that limit traditional theme parks. How many new consumers who cannot afford to visit California, Florida, Paris, Hong Kong, or Shanghai will be interested in swiping their credit card directly from the comfort of their couch?

Will Disney finally be able to compete with Netflix? Not through Disney+ but through Fortnite powered by Disney?

And you, will you visit Disneyland in the metaverse?

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