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Walt Disney Company switches focus to games

Executives at the very top of the Walt Disney Company have targeted gaming as their priority – and are backing its interactive entertainment division with unprecedented vigour, according to UK and Ireland boss Matt Carroll.

Disney Interactive Studios enjoyed its best-ever year in 2007, and has now been given free reign to ramp up its studio base as well as the number of ‘core’ releases – as it continues to leverage its powerhouse IPs in the games market.

Earlier this week, Disney brought development and publishing duties for the latest Toy Story video game adaptation in-house. The company rejected a pitch from THQ for the licence – which had, in the past, been licensed out to Activision.

Games have been embraced by the very top of the company,” said UK and Ireland country director Matt Carroll. There’s a significant push throughout the company to innovate in new technology.

One of the things we have been doing is ramping up internal development because we believe that by owning studios you can innovate and own the innovation.”

Carroll also stressed that the publisher is much more than a one hit wonder:

People will remember us at Christmas for High School Musical but that accounted for half of our business during that quarter and only represented about a quarter of our business for the whole year. This year will be another year of tremendous growth in the breadth of our portfolio.”

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