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Disney to invest less in console games

Fri 12 Nov 2010 11:06am GMT / 6:06am EST / 3:06am PST
Business

Pleasants charged with making games business profitable

Black Rock Studio

Black Rock Studio, formerly known as Climax Racing, was established in Brighton in early 2000 and is...

blackrockstudio.com

Disney has admitted that it is likely to invest less in console videogames in an effort to be more profitable.

The company is due to launch Wii exclusive Epic Mickey imminently, and earlier this year released new racing IP Split/Second, but its games division has once again suffered a full year loss.

"We've seen a pretty big shift in games from console to what I'll call multiplatform, everything from mobile apps to social networking games, and by putting John Pleasants in to run games, not only will be the focus on turning those businesses into profitability, but diversifying our presence in the business," said Bob Iger, Disney CEO.

"It's our goal not only to be profitable, but obviously to get there by shifting our investment and reducing our investment too. We probably will end up investing less on the console side than we have because of the shift we're seeing in consumption and have a presence, albeit with probably less investment, in terms of game manufacturing on some of the newer platforms."

Disney promoted Pleasants to co-president of its games business last month with responsibility over online, console and mobile games, having previous experience leading social company Playdom and acting as president of publishing at Electronic Arts.

"Consumers are obviously spending time playing games from casual games online to mobile apps to social networking to console, and we felt all along that we need to be where the consumer are and we know that our games work in a variety of places and we want to be there," added Iger.

"We felt for a while that we should be both a licensor, which we do in some cases, but also a publisher. And I would say the shift that we've made in terms of personnel and ultimately in how we invest our money and how we distribute this product is going to continue to reflect that philosophy, but in a slightly different manner."

Disney owns a number of big console-focused studios, including Black Rock in the UK, Warren Spector's Junction Point, Alex Seropian's Wideload and Turok developer Propaganda Games.

This year it made more digital acquisitions, grabbing Playdom for $763 million and picking up iPhone games maker Tapulous.

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