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.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 28 comments about this story
28 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for strawberryheart

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for gnbfd

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

Avatar image for Thorpe89

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

Avatar image for SaxxyGamer18

And we care...why?

Avatar image for mikewalsh69

i'd rather see a toy story 3 film

Avatar image for somberfox

Buzz Lightyear in Kingdom Hearts 3 would be seriously awesome.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for umbrae

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

Avatar image for pastro243

Toy story in KH3!!!!!plz!!!

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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!

Avatar image for xgalacticax

What ever happened to Ion storm eventually?

Avatar image for Nadan10

Does this mean pixar games are gunna be good now?

Avatar image for BoogieManZero

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

Avatar image for quietguy

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

Avatar image for 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

Avatar image for mfrogue13

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

Avatar image for JangoWuzHere

what does this have to do with games?

Avatar image for LittleYoshi

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for hazelnutman

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

Avatar image for Adam_the_Nerd

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

Avatar image for 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

Avatar image for RaiKageRyu

Ugh, Toy Story 3...

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for speedjunkie4

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

Avatar image for Zidaneski

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