Disney's $350m development warchest

Climax Racing, signing Stainless, opening a Nintendo-only studio - these are just the first steps in Disney's recent development activity; Buena Vista Games plans to keep spending on games production over the next few years.
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As part of its end-of-year financials last week, the company confirmed that its fourth quarter profit had doubled to $782m off the back of box office hits Pirates of the Caribbean and Cars.

In addition, CFO Tom Staggs told Bloomberg that a huge chunk of its forward planning balance - specifically, some $350m, is going on video games development during the next five to seven years.

Disney's Buena Vista Games division has been very active of late, acquiring Climax's Racing studio in September and last week announcing it had signed up Stainless Games' Novadrome for Xbox Live Arcade. Last week also saw the announcement that it will open a new games studio in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA which would make games purely for Nintendo platforms.


Wii sparks development gold rush

Nintendo's best-selling DS and Wii games machines seem to have sparked a flurry of production and acquisition activity, with Traveller's Tales the latest studio to set-up a format-holder-exclusive team to satisfy publisher demand.