Like Sega two years ago, Disney has outlined a desire to control its own destiny when it comes to existing and new brands within the games space, and will self-publish IP as it becomes available and current licensing deals finish. “I see us having a blend of self-financed and self-published games – up to 60 per cent of what we do,” Andy Mooney, global boss of Disney Consumer Products told MCV.
“But there would still be a percentage of games where we co-fund, co-develop or licence the IP to a third-party.”
Mooney also warned that with the recent interest in games from the likes of News Corp and Warner Bros. publishers should be aware that licensed IP is likely to dry up, forcing some publishers to create their own franchises.
“If you look at a company like THQ, half of its business is licensing. So if film studios actually develop the competency to self-develop and self-publish great games, then that difference comes away from those publishers. What they are then left with is increasingly large rolls of the dice on new IP.”
Buena Vista Games’ biggest challenge so far will be the release of The Chronicles of Narnia, developed by Traveller’s Tales for all console and handheld formats, and due for release this Christmas.
Disney's new publishing plans will not affect THQ's deal with Pixar, as the maker of The Incredibles is ending its movie licensing deal with Disney after the opening of Cars in 2006. THQ already has The Incredibles 2 and Cars lined up for future release. THQ also handles some Disney-owned properties on GBA, but it is not known how the studio's new plans may affect this or how quickly.