Disney + Nintendo = ??

#1
What in the....


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aZYiQeR40dlI



Disney Studio to Develop Video Games for Nintendo Consoles

By Andy Fixmer

Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Walt Disney Co., the world's second- largest media company, is creating a video-game studio to make titles exclusively for Nintendo Co., targeting audiences for its animated characters.

The studio, called Fall Line, will be based in Salt Lake City and run by Scott Novis, who led the team that created the game based on the Pixar film ``Cars.'' Novis's designers will build games for the Nintendo ``Wii'' console to be released this month and the ``DS'' and ``Game Boy'' handheld players.

Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger said in September that Disney can earn more by developing its own games rather than licensing characters and content. Disney has spent $200 million in the past two years to buy or start game-development studios. The Burbank, California-based company will spend another $200 million in the next two years, said Graham Hopper, general manager of Disney's Buena Vista Games.

``Disney is naturally set up for video games,'' said Imran Khan, an analyst with JPMorgan Chase & Co. ``It makes sense because of their characters and their content, and because they already have a strong consumer product group, which others like Time Warner and Paramount don't.''

Shares of Disney rose 57 cents to $32.46 yesterday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. They have gained 35 percent this year.

Buena Vista wants to produce 80 percent of its games internally, Hopper said. Of the games it makes, Buena Vista wants 80 percent based on Disney movies, TV shows or other content.

Fourth Studio

Fall Line is the fourth game developer Disney has bought or started in the past 19 months. The company has more than tripled its video-game payroll to 600 employees.

In April 2005, Buena Vista bought Salt Lake City-based Avalanche Software for undisclosed terms and established a start- up studio in Vancouver called Propaganda Games, led by former executives of Electronic Arts Canada. In September, the company purchased Brighton, England-based Climax Racing, maker of auto- racing games ``MotoGP'' and ``ATV Offroad Fury'' for undisclosed terms.

Khan expects Disney to rely less on licensing agreements, such as the accord with publisher THQ Inc. it inherited with the $8.06 billion purchase of Pixar in May. THQ, based in Agoura Hills, California, has game rights to the next four Pixar films.

``They are building the capability to do these games on their own,'' said Khan, who rates the shares ``overweight'' and doesn't own them.

`Chicken Little'

Disney is releasing a second ``Chicken Little'' video game for Nintendo's Wii around the same time the console is expected to go on sale this month.

The game follows a formula that Hopper and other Disney executives want to serve as a blueprint for future titles. Designers at Avalanche worked with the film's producers and animators to get scenes that were created entirely for the game.

``That lets us tell a story in the same universe and time frame as the movie,'' said John Blackburn, Avalanche Software's general manager. ``But we can expand the universe in a way that makes better sense for a video game.''

Collaboration between designers and animators has grown, Blackburn said. Designers get early access to footage, gaining more time to build a game and make it closer to the movie.

``Before we were with Disney, we wouldn't always get access to the movie team and because of the lack of trust, they wouldn't let us do things with the character,'' Blackburn said.

Natural Partner

Disney views Nintendo as a natural partner since its users tend to be younger. While Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. compete for ardent video game fans with high-end graphics and complex games, Nintendo has made the Wii simple and easy to use with a controller sensitive to motion.

Novis said kids find Xbox and PlayStation games technical and difficult to learn, while they typically can pick up a Nintendo game and start playing quickly. At $250, Nintendo's Wii costs less than the Xbox and PlayStation 3.

``It seems like with our brand, the Nintendo platform is a really good place to put our development effort and focus,'' Novis said.
 
#7
I sense Disney liked how well Kingdom Hearts did, as how well pixar movies did. I also sense they don't wanna wait for SE to make a KH3 to make more money from games.

When they got scared Pixar would leave them, they tried to rely on themselves and opened a 3d studio. & those movies sucked without Pixar.

And without SE... their games will suck too. :lol

Disney, you may be able to animate and program... but your own stories.. eh.. nowadays crap.
 

davepoobond

you can't put a price on sparks
#9
its interesting that when everyone is "multiconsole multiconsole" here comes Disney to establish an exclusive developer.
 
#11
gutter_trash said:
dont they call themsevles Buenavista Games?
Yes, Buena Vista Games. Buena Vista is a moniker that Disney uses for many of it's divisions, like Buena Vista Distribution, Buena Vista Television, Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group, etc. It was once called Disney Interactive.
 

GSG Flash

Nobody ruins my family vacation but me...and maybe the boy!
#12
xsarien said:
Hooray, five more years of "NINTENDO IS TEH KIDD IE!!!!11!`!!`111one"
I'm sure Nintendo doesn't mind that considering they're trying to be kiddy, mature and ultra mature (old people)
 

alistairw

Just so you know, I have the best avatars ever.
#13
So really, what they're doing is creating crappy shovelware without bothering with licensing their products to a middleman?

Great.
 

drohne

hyperbolically metafictive
#15
distendo
n.
a portmanteau word combining "disney" and "nintendo"
adj.
the state of one's bunghole after paying $250 for gamecube turbo
 
#18
PantherLotus said:
Wait wait wait. Only Sony can get Disney characters and it be cool. If it's on Nintendo it'll be kiddy. DUH!
[insert bail out picture]



I might be interested in their games if they lay off the movie/tv based crap. They should try to come up with new original concepts/characters and expand their fanbase, THOUGH that would require effort so it probably won't happen. :)
 
#20
With the Wii being a generation behind it's competitors in the graphics department wouldn't most companies have to dedicate a specific team/studio to the system?

It seems to make sense really that the team making PS3/360 games would most likely not be making Wii games.
 
#21
PantherLotus said:
Wait wait wait. Only Sony can get Disney characters and it be cool. If it's on Nintendo it'll be kiddy. DUH!
You have to admit, there IS a difference between a game with Disney characters developed by Square Enix in a popular genre (RPG) with which that developer has considerable experience... and games solely featuring Disney characters developed by Disney not to exemplify a particular genre but merely to serve as merchandising accompaniments to Disney's movies and shows?

jetsetmario said:
With the Wii being a generation behind it's competitors in the graphics department wouldn't most companies have to dedicate a specific team/studio to the system?

It seems to make sense really that the team making PS3/360 games would most likely not be making Wii games.
Sure, but that's not what Disney is doing here.
 
#22
ethelred said:
You have to admit, there IS a difference between a game with Disney characters developed by Square Enix in a popular genre (RPG) with which that developer has considerable experience... and games solely featuring Disney characters developed by Disney not to exemplify a particular genre but merely to serve as merchandising accompaniments to Disney's movies and shows?
Eisner is no longer running Disney, sorry.
 
#23
Bah, this is a movie studio who has created an offshot game dept so they can poop out in house made games based off their movies. Its not so much a focus on new and interesting game ideas, but rather another way to merchandise their movie franchises. I smell the potential for crap.
 
#29
Hey man, never underestimate Disney's Imagineers! Definitely a great corporate matching of similar ideologies and vision---hopefully the games won't be rudimentary though.

Edit--I continued reading the press release and saw Disney's acquisitions. Makers of MotoGP? Nice grab by Disney. Over 600 employees already!? I see a bright future in the making...
 
#34
Disney sucks, but at least Nintendo's getting some backing for Wii. It could be considered bad backing, I suppose (as in bad for their image), but there's that slight chance that it's not.
 
#35
drohne said:
distendo
n.
a portmanteau word combining "disney" and "nintendo"
adj.
the state of one's bunghole after paying $250 for gamecube turbo
LOL

But, did you edit your post just so you could add the word 'portmanteau'? :p
 

drohne

hyperbolically metafictive
#36
i actually edited it because it sounds as if i'm defining a noun when i start with "the state," but then i decided it wasn't worth the trouble.
 

alistairw

Just so you know, I have the best avatars ever.
#39
Alkaliine said:
Good news I suppose, I do remember playing some great Disney games when I was kid.
Sure, but they were all by capable third party licensees.

There hasn't been one Disney game worth the time to even bother renting lately - with the obvious exception of Kingdom Hearts - and I really can't see that changing just because Disney have picked up their own studio. But, you know, if they want to prove me wrong and release thoughtful titles that display cross-generational appeal, I'm all for it.
 
#41
Meh... I remember when Rare was supposed to develop 5 Disney games for GameCube! I don't think much will come of this.

Cars on Nintendo DS was a very big seller in the UK though.
 
#44
Tigger will be playable in Super Smash Bros. Brawl confirmed! :D

On a more serious note: does this mean that old Disney licensed games will be available through VC? Like the Genesis version of Aladdin (Virgin Interactive developed)? That would be sweet.
 
#45
Nintendo could look to Disney / Buena Vista for help with distributing whatever their new animation studio makes too... if that ever comes to fruition.

I can't think of a more natural partnership.
 
#48
the last good disney game i played was castle of illusion on the megadrive, really enjoyed it, everything after this has been terrible :(

however, even though i dislike the kingdom hearts series, probably disney's most popular game, its value can't be denied. so in the hands of the right developers disney related games can sell well and be important to the system they're on.
 
#49
"rolls eyes at most of the predictable (kiddy) reponses"

Anyways. VC games would be a nice touch, I'm personally hopping for some crossover Mario/Disney stuff. Good news all around!
 
#50
Here's the full PR. It's not just Disney characters, it's also new IP for Wii and DS.

BUENA VISTA GAMES ANNOUNCES FALL LINE STUDIO

New Development Studio Focused on Becoming a Center of Creative Excellence for Nintendo Platform Video Games

BURBANK, Calif. and SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — (November 7, 2006) — Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment affiliate of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), today announced the formation of a new video game development studio dedicated to creating innovative games for Nintendo platforms. Based in Salt Lake City, Fall Line Studio’s focus is to develop games based on Disney’s characters, television shows and entertainment franchises as well as creating new intellectual property for the Nintendo DS(TM) and Wii(TM) game systems.

Built around a core of industry veterans, the studio will focus on small-team, creative projects that leverage the Disney brand in new and innovative ways. Fall Line Studio will operate as a sister studio to Buena Vista Games’ award-winning Avalanche Software studio, also in Salt Lake City, giving the company an advantage in reaching the strong pool of creative talent in the region.

Industry veteran Scott Novis will serve as vice president and general manager for Fall Line Studio. Prior to this position, Novis served as general manager of Rainbow Studios where he grew the staff from 30 to more than 200 employees. His experience in the video game business and knowledge of the industry will allow Fall Line Studio to capitalize on the power of the Disney brand and deliver innovative games for the mass market.

“This studio will be one of our centers of creative excellence and it gives us the ability to fully capitalize on our properties and expand our market share on Nintendo platforms,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager of Buena Vista Games. “Scott Novis brings the perfect mix of team building and relevant business experience to the position of studio head for Fall Line Studio."

“The opportunity to grow a new studio for Buena Vista Games after success with Rainbow is right in line with my goal to create great games for the mainstream,” said Scott Novis, vice president and general manager of Fall Line Studio. “BVG has an excellent management team, a can-do corporate culture and a treasure trove of great intellectual properties that make it exciting for us to start something new.”

BVG has a strong reputation for creating games for Nintendo platforms and is the No. 3 publisher of Game Boy(R) Advance titles in North America. The strength of the company’s famous characters, Disney Channel properties and entertainment intellectual properties provide Buena Vista Games with an unparalleled deep catalog of content.

About Fall Line Studio

Based in Salt Lake City, Fall Line Studio is the newest addition to Buena Vista Games’ family of studios, which also includes Propaganda Games in Vancouver, British Columbia; Avalanche Software in Salt Lake City; and Climax Racing in Brighton, England. Fall Line Studio is focused on innovative games for Nintendo systems and gives Buena Vista Games dedicated development resources for the Nintendo DS and Wii systems.

About Buena Vista Games

Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG) is the interactive entertainment affiliate of The Walt Disney Company. BVG develops, publishes, markets and distributes a broad portfolio of multi-platform video games and interactive entertainment worldwide. The company also licenses properties and works directly with third-party interactive game publishers to bring products for all ages to market. For more information, please log on to www.bvg.com.