Disney hauls off Wideload, hires Halo cocreator Seropian

Media giant scoops up brains behind Stubbs the Zombie to be VP of creative at Disney Interactive Studios; Hail to the Chimp shop developing unannounced "family console game."


Two weeks after it stunned the world by buying Marvel for around $4 billion, the Walt Disney Company has made a far smaller--and game-industry specific--purchase. Today, the media giant's Disney Interactive Studios group announced it has bought Wideload Games, developer of Hail to the Chimp and Stubbs the Zombie, for an undisclosed sum.

The latest piece of the Disney empire.
The latest piece of the Disney empire.

The deal will see Wideload remain in Chicago--for the most part, anyway. Its founder, Halo cocreator Alex Seropian, will relocate to California, where he will oversee creative development of all Disney Interactive Studios projects as vice president of creative. There, he will report to DIS vice president of global product development Jean-Marcel Nicolai.

Wideload Games president Tom Kang will replace Seropian at the studio, which currently has 25 full-time employees. Those staffers are currently hard at work on an unannounced "family console game" for a 2010 release, according to Disney.

The Disney buyout marks the latest evolution of Wideload, which was founded in 2004 by Seropian and several ex-Bungie Studios developers. Two years after the 2005 release of Stubbs the Zombie, the company announced Wideload Shorts, a division of the company dedicated specifically to downloadable games for consoles, PCs, and handheld platforms. That program will continue under Disney's supervision.

The Wideload buyout marks the latest acquisition of an independent game developer by Disney. In 2005, it purchased Turok developer Propaganda Games. The following year, it picked up Climax Racing (Renamed Black Rock Studio), developer of Pure and the forthcoming Split/Second. In 2007, it bought Junction Point Studios, home of Deus Ex cocreator Warren Spector--who is rumored to be working on a dark action-adventure featuring Mickey Mouse.

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Avatar image for Newager

disney buys the entire world guys, and we'll all be living in a theme park disney land style! eating cotton floss candy all day and smoking cigars... woops thats pinochio XD terrible decision btw, i have a bad feelin abt this.

Avatar image for Indiscrimi

Sorry Disney, we already have the Wii. We don't need another "family" console.

Avatar image for Raid3nsnake

maybe this dark action game with micky is the new kingdom hearts game?

Avatar image for badman11226

World Domination. Disney "Join Us or i get mickey mouse to kick ur.." "Sir we cant use the A word." "Oh yeah Politcal Correctness i mean i get mickey mouse to give you timeouts muuuuhhhhhahahahahahaaaa."

Avatar image for melty3219

disney can afford to buy this becuase stupid teens buy thier hanna montanna and jonas brothers albums :P

Avatar image for TehEliteElite

Damn, Disney's taking over the world! :P

Avatar image for Tanares

Whats happening is that Disney board of directors finally saw that interactive entertainment is the future of media. This buying frenzy is the result of that vision.

Avatar image for optimal

Disney buying EA.. Does anyone else sense a paradox in that, LOL.

Avatar image for Killingspree303

Disney isn't good at making games, even those aimed for kids... And don't buy Marvel, Disney. You'll only ruin it!

Avatar image for rob_dAmAgE

the final nail in the stubbs coffin. now i'll never get a sequel to one of the most fun games i've ever played....

Avatar image for Excedra

If Disney buys either rockstar, or ea, ill lock myself in my room and scream my heart out.

Avatar image for l0wF4t

they did it again! T_T

Avatar image for WTFitsPauL

Disney + Halo = Disney Taking Over Earth ( wait? thats happening right now!!)

Avatar image for Narutofan30

Disney can buy anything!

Avatar image for badiie05

HUH?!?! OMG Disney is really desperate in spending :P how embarrasing

Avatar image for diablo_del_bano

Next they'll be going after Square Enix, and then the world will implode. Or at least perhaps the game industry.

Avatar image for jedkonyat

what if disney buys PLAYBOY...oh the humanity....

Avatar image for badtaker

Please think of hardcore gamers.

Avatar image for bredeyabo

i hope nintendo will stop with its family crap like what they did to the wii.

Avatar image for Shadow_Fire41

family console game with the dude who developed Stubbs the Zombie? there is NOTHING that could go wrong here. 'ends sarcasm'

Avatar image for FullmetalFreak7

I think Disney will one day buy the world.

Avatar image for orb_03_2006

this is kinda scary... wonder what they're planning...

Avatar image for Mister__Awesome

Kingdom Hearts with Marvel characters. One can only dream lol. I suspect a Mario type game with Mickey mouse. 3D RPG.

Avatar image for guitardude1243

Disney is a scheming and a plotting, wonder what's coming.

Avatar image for GeigerdolylWodd

So how long before we get a Marvel vs Disney tournament fighter?

I can see it now Goofy throwing sonic yuck-chuckles at the Incredible Hulk. The Hulk takes up a generator, he throws it and at the same time it hits Goofy he utters "Hulk SMASH!" It knocks Goofy unconscious with stars circling his head.

But then TinkerBell intercepts an incoming Hulk attack with her magic wand. Now Hulk sees stars instead and says "look at the galaxy" Meanwhile Goofy throws another sonic chuckle at him...

In particular I think a matchup betwixt Donald Duck and The incredible Hulk would be interesting. I mean they both are irascible and the amount o destruction one does versus the other would be interesting.
Avatar image for shaggydellic

A "dark action-adventure featuring Mickey Mouse"? I just don't see how that's possible.

Avatar image for gunner967

Disney taking over Halo. Now that's a scary thought.

Avatar image for brian_13un

Hope it'll be good

Avatar image for Blargsman

Hmm... odd choice of developer to purchase. I'll have to see what happens.

Avatar image for spawnassasin

do i smell a marvel zombie gaming coming soon;)

Avatar image for UnRelentingAlly

If disney gets some people with some exp. under their belt they can start puttin out good games and heck maybe even put that marvel license to good use.

Avatar image for daniel_droid

for a second i thought disney bought rights to halo , man that would be crazy wow imagin master chiefs face to be mickey mouse good god:(

Avatar image for king_chapeton15

watch out! disneys going for the kill

Avatar image for taylormadederek

Wideload was a HUGE disapointment to me. I thought that they might actually come out with something amazing. Oh well, I now expect great things from the spin offs of Ensemble.

Avatar image for Sling_Master

God, that's lame. Disney buying out gaming companies? Well, it'll be interesting to see where they take it from here. Who knows, it might even be for the better.