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Disney adds Bungie co-founder, Wideload to games team

Tue 08 Sep 2009 11:45am GMT / 7:45am EDT / 4:45am PDT
BusinessPeopleDevelopment

Games business grows further with addition of Halo designer to oversee creative development

Bungie co-founder Alex Seropian has joined Disney to head up its in-house videogame development teams.

Disney has also acquired Seropian's Wideload Games studio, the team he established in 2004 after leaving Bungie.

"We're really trying to be a magnet in this industry for talent, as we are in so many other parts of the entertainment world," said Graham Hopper, executive vice president and general manager of Disney Interactive Studios, speaking to NBC.

"Having someone of Alex's calibre join us is a tribute to the great people we have here already."

Wideload outsourced development to other studios, paying them for their work on a game, not their time. It's this alternative development thinking that Seropian hopes to continue as part of his new role at Disney.

"I have some very specific goals for myself redefining what the videogame business is. And I did that with Wideload. [Disney and I] had this conversation about how can we take that kind of thinking and make it bigger," he said.

The acquisition is just part of Disney's continued growth in videogames. The company has already put acclaimed designer Warren Spector to work on Epic Mickey after acquiring his Junction Point Studios in 2007.

And last month it began one of its most ambitious acquisitions, swooping for Marvel Entertainment, the superhero company with over 5000 characters in its portfolio.

"We want to be bigger than what we are today a lot bigger than what we are today," added Hopper.

"We don't have the ambition of trying to unseat the top players in the industry, because we don't have the market share goal. What we want to do is build up and introduce new [properties] to the game industry - and to Disney - and expose the company in a new way to consumers."

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