Several years ago, Disney walked away from in-house game development ventures. The entertainment behemoth instead began focusing on partnerships with other publishers, such as its 2013-inked, Star Wars-focused deal with Electronic Arts. Following the success of 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man and last year’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Disney is ready to partner with even more game studios. As a result, Disney is now inviting developers industry-wide to “come and play” with its vast catalogue to craft original tales and reimagine iconic characters.
Disney’s Senior VP of Games and Interactive Experiences, Sean Shoptaw, shared the updated plan during a talk at DICE Summit 2020 in Las Vegas. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Shoptaw told the audience of developers, “I’m here for one specific reason: to empower you to do really unique things with our [catalog]. We want to tap into the power of creatives across the industry.”
The Disney executive made mention of both Marvel’s Spider-Man and Fallen Order, emphasizing the significance of original storytelling in both. To further tap into what creatives can accomplish with its properties, Disney wants more developers to create unique stories, while also “reimagining” the possibilities with regards to its many characters and settings.
Sony and EA aren’t the only big name publishers to have successfully launched critically acclaimed games based on Disney IP in recent memory. Disney’s decades-long partnership with Square Enix continues to prove fruitful, as well. Kingdom Hearts III hit stores shelves early in 2019. At five million units shipped in the weeks following launch, it’s considered the franchise’s fastest-selling entry to date. Spider-Man’s more than 13 million copies sold and Fallen Order’s eight million units suggest both will receive follow-ups, though no confirmations have surfaced as of yet.
Disney’s 2019 acquisition of 21st Century Fox means other currently in-production games now sit under the Walt Disney Co. umbrella. One such title is Ubisoft’s Avatar project, which does indeed remain in development at Ubisoft Massive.
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]