Media giant's strengths in multiple entertainment fields can aid game development

Disney CEO says cross-media talents will help games push

According a report in the New York Post, Disney’s CEO has been talking up the company’s plans for its games division, Disney Interactive Studios, saying the firm plans to take cues from its music strategy.

Currently enjoying the success of its High School Musical film and CDs – a musical that debuted on the Disney Channel and has since topped the charts and won awards, Disney’s Bob Iger wants to approach a similar multi-platform approach.

"We intend to use [a multi-platform approach] to do exactly what we did in the music business to our video games business, but on a much larger scale," Iger reportedly told investors, describing games as "another promising creative engine for Disney."

This means a mix of new IP and titles spun out of films – its music business has grown to $100m a year, feeding off and fuelling its movie and TV business. In 2008 the company expects to spend $175m on games development to fund these ambitions. It’s just shipped two million units of its High School Musical Sing It game, a karaoke title based around the game’s soundtrack.

Said Iger: "We are a publishing company on the outside of the video games business. But where they [other companies] may not have a cable channel, or a movie company, or even a record business, or a radio business, or online – we have all of those. We intend to use them fully."

Iger added that the company wants to build its games business around titles it creates and develops itself. Sing It was made by Canadian independent A2M, the firm is ramping up its internal development capacity – UK studio Black Rock is one of those it acquired, the team charged with making new racing game IPs.

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