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Disney is trying to win over gamers

Disney has treated its video games like accessories for a long time. Piggybacking on the marketing and creativity of its feature films, most have been treated like character lunch boxes and developed on short deadlines in order to match movie release dates.

The company's latest title, Disney Infinity, however, signals a dramatic shift in the way Disney's executives think about gaming. Infinity's budget, the largest the company has ever allotted a game, is on par with a motion picture, and its development timeline––which includes a line of physical toy characters and accompanying mobile games––extended three years.

Disney has realized something important: The more time kids spend with digital screens, the more Disney competes not just with television and movie studios, but also technology companies such as Zynga and Facebook. And to do so effectively, Disney needs games.

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