Epic and Disney are Ramping up their Metaverse Project

The longevity of Fortnite in the global gaming community has been an established fact for some years now. While titles like Palworld might burst onto the scene once in a while and disrupt the market competition among the big-league games, their ability to keep players engaged is questionable. The recent loss of nearly 98% of Palworld users on Steam showcases this problem.

At the same time, Epic Games is pushing further with its expansion of the Fortnite ecosystem, this time with the help of the Disney Company and its library of juggernaut franchises. Underneath the glitz and glamor of Disney brands, however, lies the greatest strength Epic Games possesses – a growing environment for user-generated content.

Fortnite x Disney Leaks

The collaboration between the two huge companies was revealed at the beginning of 2024. Disney pledged to invest over 1.5 billion USD over the coming years, along with providing access to franchises like Marvel, MCU, and Star Wars. 

Recently, a series of leaks showed that the collaboration is not static, but involves developing working versions of secret projects. According to the leaks, those projects include the mysterious Build-Version 5421, which is close to the testing phase or already inside of limited test processes. 

Moreover, Epic has been seeking out new employees who will begin working on this project. The search includes software developers who will likely begin working in Verse, the Epic-created programming language. Info like this points to the possibility of Epic Games launching some part of the Disney collaboration this year, which is a very aggressive development cycle.

Changes in Fortnite Creative 

If the Disney project launches, even partially, in 2024, it will almost certainly focus on the Fortnite Battle Royale and existing game modes. However, when it comes to the long-term potential, UGC games, made through Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN) and Fortnite Creative, offer the most possibilities. 

Even now, more players enjoy user-made islands and games than the original Fortnite Battle Royale game. The influx of content from Disney that may be offered to numerous creators will make the offer even more appealing. For example, the MCU alone provides a nearly ideal environment for third-person games. Having superheroes like Iron Man and Thor inside of UGC Fortnite Creative games can bring in new gamers, especially from the Marvel fandom. 

Furthermore, the creators themselves may see bigger profits, because the arrival of new gamers can boost Epic’s revenue. Special events that coincide with big MCU movie launches can contribute to the revenue stream, as well. It’s truly a win-win situation for everyone involved.

However, something of that magnitude requires at least a year of full development to reach the standard of quality that Disney expects from its strategic partners. Because of that, it’s hard to imagine that Epic will have everything ready in the coming six months or so. 

The Growth of Epic UGC

The leaks provide an interesting (albeit partial) insight into the state of Epic and Disney’s collaboration. It’s generally agreed that the companies involved have a true gaming and entertainment metaverse in their sights. This means a development cycle that is closer to the year 2030. However, the baseline element of that development is the user-generated content and games that the Fortnite Creative creators are making right now. Many of them will put the Disney franchise assets to good use, but these are not a necessity for the future growth of the ecosystem. Instead, the ability to get and keep gamers on these user-made islands in Fornite is what counts right now.

Source: statista.com

The good news for all of them is that the collaboration with Disney is clearly gaining momentum. Right now, however, the overall health of the current setup allows for its growth even without assets from the Marvel and Star Wars series. The Fortnite metaverse will keep pushing forward even before Disney jumps on board.