Disney reclaims Toy Story license

<i>Wall Street Journal</i> says media conglomerate is abandoning longtime Pixar publishing partner THQ in favor of in-house development.

Last year, Disney announced it would be significantly ramping up spending on its games label, Disney Interactive Studios. The media conglomerate said that it would funneling roughly $350 million a year into its games business, with the majority being spent on developing established franchises. The House of Mouse has also brought in big-name talent to be part of its development stable, namely Deus Ex creator and Ion Storm founder Warren Spector.

While it remains to be seen what effect the refocus on games will have on Disney, the move may already be having a negative impact on THQ. The publisher--which has handled the game adaptations for several of Disney's most recent productions, including Cars and Ratatouille--may soon be having a core aspect of its business sliced clean away, as Disney has opted to develop the game adaptation for Pixar's upcoming Toy Story 3 in house, reports the Wall Street Journal (registration required).

"We would have loved to keep the business, but when you see a company like Disney scaling up, we weren't surprised they went internal with it," said THQ CEO Brian Farrell. However, Farrell remains optimistic that Disney's handling of Toy Story 3 development is an anomaly, rather than precedence for the future. "I've seen this before and the jury is still out," noting that media companies have in the past taken a crack at game development on numerous occasions, with questionably successful results.

THQ has entered a tumultuous period of late. Reporting on its holiday-quarter sales earlier this month, THQ noted that while revenues had actually grown by 7 percent to $509 million for the quarter, profits had plummeted by nearly 75 percent to less than $16 million. The publisher also abruptly shelved a number of franchises and projects in January, including the recently acquired Juiced and Stuntman driving series, as well as the Frontlines: Fuel of War for the PlayStation 3 and Destroy All Humans: Big Willy Unleashed for the PlayStation 2.

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Discussion

28 comments
strawberryheart
strawberryheart

WHERT!!! Disney is stupid if they think hey can do anything with Toy Story without Pixar, morons........

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

Oh crap... here comes the game sequels to movie sequels that should have never existed. The only thing that hasn't sucked as a movie sequel that happened to have disney's name on it somewhere was really made by Pixar.

gnbfd
gnbfd

So is that it for THQ? Or just Toy Story?

Thorpe89
Thorpe89

I remember playing Toy Story Racer on PS1. Oh my.

somberfox
somberfox

Buzz Lightyear in Kingdom Hearts 3 would be seriously awesome.

Trashcan_Man
Trashcan_Man

THQ, Disney isn't scaling up: they've always been lightyears ahead of you. And...does anyone even really remember the Toy Story games? I remember the first one had slippery controls...that's about it.

umbrae
umbrae

Wow, Disney games may not suck (except KH which is more a Square game anyway). THQ can kill a license.

KH-mixerX
KH-mixerX

Man I can't wait for Kingdom Hearts 3. You can bet we'll see games like Toy Story and Monster's Inc. in it in the form of worlds.

aygol
aygol

hazelnutman, I totally agree. Toy Story was my childhood! I still love both Toy Story and Toy Story 2 and watch them once in a while!

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

What ever happened to Ion storm eventually?

Nadan10
Nadan10

Does this mean pixar games are gunna be good now?

BoogieManZero
BoogieManZero

The original Toy Story game wasn't too bad back on the Genesis.

quietguy
quietguy

I'm okay with a Toy Story 3 movie, but seriously, a VG version? Damn didn't they learn already?

willauqs
willauqs

littleyoshi! toy story in KH?! i would love for nothing more than to experience that. you could turn into toy sora haha. oh mannnn

mfrogue13
mfrogue13

I want an Incredibles 2, personally, but I'll still see TS3

LittleYoshi
LittleYoshi

Well, I heard Toy Story will also be part of the many worlds in KH3 :)

RandyAU93
RandyAU93

Actually I love the second one, more than the first. The third will be in 3D, and Disney/Pixar are releasing 3D conversions of the 1995 and 1999 movies in October 2009 and February 2010, respectively, prior to the launch of Toy Story 3D in June 2010. As to the games, since this is a gaming website ... feh. License game.

hazelnutman
hazelnutman

YES! Toy Story 3 would be my dream!!! Toy Story was a part of my childhood. Scratch that... it WAS MY CHILDHOOD!

Adam_the_Nerd
Adam_the_Nerd

TOY STORY 3 FTW! I've been waiting forever for the sequel to my beloved childhood movie haha.

Bay_Maximus
Bay_Maximus

Believe me, Toy Story 3 will happen as long as Disney feels that can turn a profit. That said, the game going from THQ is like jumping from the pan into the fire. Frankly, neither dev team has the chops to make a decent Toy Story game IMO. If Disney really wants to make a respectable game off of a loved property like Toy Story, they need to put it in the hands of a competent dev house. Bay

nintendude009
nintendude009

They honestly should've stoppped after the first Toy Story. The second one really sucked and was a rip off of the second. And they've had like 5 different scripts for the third in like three years. I doubt it will really happen.

speedjunkie4
speedjunkie4

And do we all know what is going to happen? That's right, it will SUCK.

Zidaneski
Zidaneski

So there's a Toy Story 3 movie? Thats good enough for me.