Disney Wants Game Developers To ‘Come and Play’ With Their Franchise Catalog


Disney has made some changes over the past few years. One notable change has been that they have pulled out of creating their own games through their own studios and has instead been focusing on outsourcing their intellectual property via licensing deals to outside companies.

Yesterday, Sean Shoptaw, Senior Vice President Games and Interactive Experiences at Disney talked about the studio’s “new approach to video game licensing” during the 2020 DICE Summit, held at the Aria Convention Center, in Las Vegas.

During his presentation he put out an invitation to the gaming developers in attendance:  “I’m here for one specific reason: to empower you to do really unique things with our [catalog.] We want to tap into the power of creatives across the industry.”

However, it’s a smart move by Disney to get the most impact and reach at a lower cost. Licensing deals usually work in a way that companies pay the Intellectual Property (IP) holder to license their property. Then the license holder pays to develop the product. Get approval from the IP holder and make any changes they want made until it’s approved. Finally the license purchaser can take it to market. So all the risk and expense is on the person paying to license the IP from the owner. Disney could get companies to pay them to make games and promote their IPs. Of course this is a better deal than paying for everything in house.

So when Mr. Shoptaw invited the audience to “come and play” with their catalog of IPs, it really means that they can reach agreements where gaming developers can create and innovate for Disney without Disney having to spend the money and time to create their own games. Which is normal for this kind of arrangement and a good move financially for Disney.

Of course game developers will want to do this, especially now that Disney also owns the Fox IPs as well.

Now some IPs are off the table like Star Wars, because Disney has an existing agreement with EA since 2013. Or some of the Kingdom Hearts IPs since they are tied up with a long standing agreement with Square Enix.

I think this quote summed a lot of it up. Shoptaw said:

We want to dream big and look forward to all the things we can do together.

Disney wants to dream big and spend small to advance their brands. Which could be a good way to boost their bottom line.

What do you think? Comment and let us know.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter



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