CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Disney CEO Bob Iger announced during the company's earnings call Wednesday that it would invest $1.5 billion in Cary-based Epic Games.
Epic Games is the studio behind the popular online game Fortnite.
Disney has worked with Epic Games in the past to incorporate playable characters into Fortnite.
Iger said Disney plans to work with Epic Games to create a new virtual reality universe as well as new games and entertainment incorporating more characters and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and other company properties.
"Our exciting new relationship with Epic Games will bring together Disney's beloved brands and franchises with the hugely popular Fortnite in a transformational new games and entertainment universe," said Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. "This marks Disney's biggest entry ever into the world of games and offers significant opportunities for growth and expansion. We can't wait for fans to experience the Disney stories and worlds they love in groundbreaking new ways."
"Disney was one of the first companies to believe in the potential of bringing their worlds together with ours in Fortnite, and they use Unreal Engine across their portfolio," said Tim Sweeney, CEO and Founder, Epic Games. "Now we're collaborating on something entirely new to build a persistent, open and interoperable ecosystem that will bring together the Disney and Fortnite communities.
"This will enable us to bring together our incredible collection of stories and experiences from across the company for a broad audience in ways we have only dreamed of before," said Josh D'Amaro, Chairman, Disney Experiences. "Epic Games' industry-leading technology and Fortnite's open ecosystem will help us reach consumers where they are so they can engage with Disney in the ways that are most relevant to them."
This announcement comes on the heels of Iger announcing that Disney had exceeded earnings expectations.
Shares of Disney jumped 7% in extended trading after the results came out.
Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said he believes the investment is good news, and looks forward to seeing the impact it will have on Epic Games and Cary.
"Hopefully, Epic and Disney will develop a long partnership," Weinbrecht said in a release. "Regardless of your place or stage in life, millions of people around the world have found inspiration, happiness, excitement, and joy in the experiences offered by Disney and Epic Games, so collectively we can't wait to see what comes next for those of us in Cary. We are excited to see how both companies will come together to stay on 'Top of the Arc' and what role Cary, NC plays in that."
Disney is the parent company of ABC11.