While licensed video games haven't always had the best track record, Disney properties have often been an exception to the rule. From older games like DuckTales, Rescue Rangers, and Castle of Illusion, to newer offerings such as Marvel's Spider-Man and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Disney games have done an impressive job of expanding their respective brands. The house of mouse seems quite intent on continuing that tradition, while also giving developers more freedom to be experimental with their properties. During Wednesday's 2020 DICE Summit, Disney's senior VP of games and interactive experiences, Sean Shoptaw, discussed how the company's view on video games continues to evolve.
"I'm here for one specific reason: to empower you to do really unique things with our [catalog]," said Shoptaw. "We want to tap into the power of creatives across the industry."
Disney has shown a desire to solidify their partnerships with game publishers, of late. Marvel Games worked closely with Sony and Insomniac on Marvel's Spider-Man, and the game's critical and commercial success seems to have bolstered the company's faith in their current strategy.
Some fans might be surprised to hear that Disney wants to give developers more freedom to play with their licenses, but it has worked well for them in the past. After all, the Kingdom Hearts brand, with its mash-up of Final Fantasy characters and Disney franchises, would certainly qualify as "unique." Over the last 18 years, that series has become an undeniable hit for both Square Enix and Disney. That said, it will be interesting to see just how much freedom the company will give to development teams moving forward. With so many classic brands under their tent, particularly since the acquisition of Fox, it's hard not to see a lot of potential opportunities for developers and publishers in the future.
Given the success of Marvel's Spider-Man and Jedi: Fallen Order, it's no surprise to see Disney showing more interest in the video game industry as a whole. For gamers, it's certainly promising. With Disney intent on building relationships with the industry's biggest publishers and maintaining a particular level of quality, it means gamers won't be subjected to sub-par licensed games. And Disney gamers are used to expecting quality.
What Disney properties would you like to see transformed by the video game industry? What developer should Disney work with next? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!