Disney now sits on the world's biggest treasure trove of franchises and IPs, from Marvel to 20th Century Fox properties and Star Wars. Now it wants developers to make new games based on all of them.
At DICE 2020, Disney sent a clear message to game developers: Its wealth of IPs are now open for new game adaptations. The billion-dollar titan wants to leverage its massive franchise catalog to create interactive entertainment experiences with innovative and re-imagined characters and scenarios. Essentially Disney wants game devs to breathe new life into IPs like Aliens, Predator, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and a lot more.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, who was in attendance at the 2020 DICE Summit, Disney's interactive VP Sean Shoptaw extended a warm welcome to game developers.
"I'm here for one specific reason: to empower you to do really unique things with our IP. We want to tap into the power of creatives across the industry."
"We want to dream big and look forward to all the things we can do together."
These are bold affirmations for Disney, but they fit in line with the company's current focus on gaming.
Disney has absolutely no desire to actually develop video games in-house; instead it'll license the IPs out to third-party developers for game adaptations.
The most famous deal is EA's exclusive multi-year license to make Star Wars games.
Despite the cancellation of numerous key titles, like Visceral's ambitious-sounding bounty hunter game, Disney's Bob Iger says he's happy with the performance EA's Star Wars games. This comment was made before Jedi: Fallen Order's massive sales success.
EA has opened itself up to more than just live games.
Although the two Battlefront games have sold more than 33 million copies worldwide, EA is planning new games like EA Motive's mystery title as well as a sequel to Jedi Fallen Order.
Next there's Square Enix's deal for Kingdom Hearts, a series of RPGs that've sold pretty well throughout decades' worth of releases. Square Enix also got a license to make a live service game based on Marvel's Avengers, complete with a wholly original storyline that deviates completely from the films. The Avengers game takes place in an alternate universe with a unique story arc.
Ubisoft is working on a new Avatar game at its Massive studio. Nothing's been really revealed so far, but we do know it's a high-profile AAA experience that may release in tandem with the new Avatar films.
Finally we have the Aliens franchise, which may or may not be getting a new MMOFPS. Cold Iron Studios has been developing a new online Alien shooter for multiple years now, but following Disney's acquisition of Fox and its associated subsidiaries like game dev branch FoxNext, the game could be cancelled.
First Disney sold FoxNext to mobile game-maker Scopely, and now Scopely is selling Cold Iron. That means the team behind the Aliens shooter is getting sold twice.
These are just a few examples of the current projects Disney has leveraged to game developers. The list is set to expand further as Disney embraces game developers to an even greater extent, and we could see some really interesting experiences flourish over the next few years.