Disney Interactive scaling back 'highest end console games'

Mickey Mouse outfit still expects high-end Marvel titles to do extremely well; gaming division sales slip 29 percent, but losses also declining.

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Gamers still holding out hope for sequels to sales disappointments Turok or Pure might be advised to give up the ghost, as Disney executives have indicated the company will be making fewer investments in "highest end console games" in the future.

Split/Second is an increasingly rare Disney title for core gamers not built on an established brand.

Speaking with analysts after Disney's latest quarterly financial report, CEO Bob Iger addressed a change in the company's gaming strategy, as shaped by a handful of observations. First off, Iger said that traditional high-end console games are an increasingly difficult market thanks to their increased development and marketing costs and the abundance of competition from more casual games and nontraditional platforms like the iPhone.

"We also learned that the typical game that we set out to make, which I'll call it Disney branded game, seems to perform better on the Nintendo Wii and DS platforms and on the platform basically that are not the high end console games," Iger said. "So while we're going to continue to make games for the high end, we'll be very, very judicious in how many and which ones we choose."

That doesn't necessarily mean fewer "high end" games based on Disney's freshly acquired stable of Marvel characters. While Iger said the company was going to expand its focus and be less reliant on that segment of the industry, he specifically called out Marvel as a brand he expects to do "extremely well on the higher end consoles."

While Disney pulls back its investments on traditional console games, Iger said it will be stepping up its push into casual games and Apple's platforms, including the iPad. Iger said the company is already working on new apps for ABC, ESPN, and Marvel.

As for Disney's numbers, the Interactive Media gaming and online division posted revenues of $221 million for the quarter ended January 2, 2010, down 29 percent year-over-year due to the release of fewer self-published Disney games. However, the bottom line still improved for the division, as it posted losses of $10 million, as opposed to the $45 million in losses from the previous year's same quarter. The improvement was attributed partly to reduced marketing and inventory costs, as well as an uptick in paid subscriptions for Disney Online's popular Club Penguin.

Overall, Disney's quarter was essentially flat. The company posted revenues of $9.74 billion, up 1 percent from the comparable period the year before. Meanwhile, net income was down less than 1 percent to $844 million.

Discussion

29 comments
Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

Who cares Disney sucks anyways, although epic mickey looks ok.

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

this is bull... but money walks i suppose.. =\ but like enevharaldarion said, as long as they keep giving the rights for others to use their characters i'll be ok with that because KH series is one of the best games i've played. KH2 being the best out of the series. here's looking forward to KH3. going to be awesome. =D

wahyudil
wahyudil

another kingdom heart like game should be good ... but for the wii ...

necronaux
necronaux

Until they realize not everyone owns a Wii. Especially with movie titles coming out like Prince of Persia, and Toy Story 3. They'll probably just release an awlful game, not HD, on all the consoles, like they've been doing.

gskywalker09
gskywalker09

Just as long as they don't cancel the new Tron game, i'll be happy.

RandyAU93
RandyAU93

@gnbfd ... this doesn't necessarily mean there won't be a "Pure 2" or a "Split/Second 2", if the first one sells well. They're just going to be more selective ... they are doing much the same with movies, choosing a smaller number of releases per year.

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Yup, more & more companies are cutting costs

gnbfd
gnbfd

Pure was a really good game too :( Also, lol @ them saying Disney games are more suited towards the Wii/DS. I mean we all knew this already but to hear them admit it is pretty funny.

Alex_Masterson
Alex_Masterson

As long as they keep giving S-E the rights to use their characters in future Kingdom Hearts games and Epic Mickey ends up being as good as it looks so far, then I will be happy.

tehepicpwnzor
tehepicpwnzor

what? No Hanna Montana World Failure 2? RAAAAAGE! (that was a joke, wasn't it funny?)

jkhd831
jkhd831

an x-men game with infamous gameplay would be awesome

KillerWabbit23
KillerWabbit23

Split.Second will be one of the best racing games since Burnout Paradise. (imo)

DEATH775
DEATH775

Well I know that Split Second is going to be awesome

chesed
chesed

Epic Mickey? I know the Wii isn't exactly "high end," but the game looks to have high production values. One of the few Wii games I was looking forward to. I doubt they'd trash the project, but?

Linkzelda
Linkzelda

To the people who say Disney is childish and all are ignorant. Disney makes lots of kid oriented entertainment because it makes the big bucks. Disney is one of the most money making company in the world. They are not stupid, they will make Spider-man games (and Marvel games in general) like how they used to be, if not better; considering how awful most Spider-man games were (except Spider-man 2).

tmorri603
tmorri603

@Marky360 I agree. Disney owning Marvel is the worst news I heard of in 2009. Now they are feeling Mickey's cold stare giving them the thumbs down on anything they want to do. Marvel movies I was looking forward to might never be made.

mariostar0001
mariostar0001

Bad choice... for us. If Disney focuses more on Apple products a lot of gamers move to iStuff, meaning less focus on real gaming devices, which means less will feel inclined to something that is falling and more inclined to something growing, meaning more leave, and so on. It's possible, though improbable, mostly a worse-case scenario.

JackHoleFace00
JackHoleFace00

I had a chance to play Split Second at last year's E3 and thought it was sweet and showed a lot of promise. If they opt to only make more licensed games that would suck. And you'd think after Activision just being unoriginal and losing money that they'd avoid that path

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

when it comes to marvel, since they are owned by disney, thats 50 bucks from me they wont have to worry about so lose more money disney. fail in my book. i refuse to support you fools

TSNAKE617
TSNAKE617

So, they want to make less good stuff and more shovelware? Way to hate people, Disney.

BionicBrando
BionicBrando

This is good, hopefully now that sales are plumetting, they will actually TRY to make good games on 360/PS3

dukerav
dukerav

Split/Second will probably be the first "Disney" game I check out since... ever.

Marky360
Marky360

I still think that Disney owning Marvel is Horrible. the first time I see Spiderman team with Micy I'm gonna quit reading Marvel stuff all togeather

starbead
starbead

Iger is destroying Disney in every aspect of the company it seems.

vectorman88
vectorman88

Well, it makes sense to focus on the Wii but i feel that they should put investment in marketing as well. A game wont sell if we dont know much about it. Like, Split/second should be marketed more. THen their earnings wouldnt be flat. Also, I would not call Pure and Turok sales disappointments. I mean they didnt do 6 million units in one week but they didnt do 90,000 units in a month. They both sold over a million each. thats for sure. Im a castmember (dont worry, im not going to get Altair's wrist bade into my back for saying that.) . I honestly feel that investments should be going into the mature audience on a broad spectrum "Parks, cartoons, games, etc." So if i were iger, I wouldnt give up on the high-end consoles. If anything, I'd focus on Turok, Split/Second (which looks great and i can't wait), and Pure for the high end consoles and the more mature audience. Also, widening a perspective would be beneficial. There's some of us who are fans of Mickey so itd be col to see mickey on his new game on the other consoles. There is a new Pirates game coming out from Propaganda Studios, the guys that made Turok.

wiifan001
wiifan001

*yawn* Wake me when a REAL Epic Mickey updated is posted.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Disney games are better on Wii and DS? - any gamer could have told you that! Can't wait for Split/Second :D:D