Disney to triple games spending

House of Mouse in a bid to capitalise on 'real opportunity' in the industry.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End publisher Disney will be raising its game development spending to $130 million this year, up almost a third on last year's $100 million, reports Reuters.

Disney's chief financial officer Tom Staggs told journalists at a briefing in London, "We are ramping up our investment in video games... It is a market where there is real opportunity."

Staggs also stated that Disney would be continuing to ramp up its game-related cash to "about a pace of $350 million a year." The executive added that this would be mainly for console and handheld formats, with the majority of the development spend for established content franchises, and the remaining 30 percent or so on new IP.

First up for the company's ambitious plans include a Spectrobes sequel and a massively multiplayer online game based on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Late last year, Disney launched a Salt Lake City-based games studio, Fall Line Studio, focused on creating games for Nintendo's Wii and DS platforms. The company also renamed its games division, formerly known as Buena Vista Interactive, to Disney Interactive Studios at the beginning of February.

The company has so far published a number of titles, including action role-playing game Spectrobes, Kingdom Hearts II (co-published and developed with Square Enix), and Cars (co-published by THQ). Upcoming titles include rhythm game High School Musical in September, and a Turok first-person shooter for next-gen consoles (TBA).

Last week, Disney also announced that it had signed a deal with comic book legend Stan Lee to create a series of new superhero franchises, including games.

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