Disney plans to reinvigorate Pixar brand
Company preparing to "seed the ground" with two new Toy Story titles before reclaiming licence from THQ
Disney Interactive Studios is planning to reinvigorate the Pixar brand, and is confident that its two forthcoming Toy Story titles can breathe new life into animated movie tie-ins.
THQ has released a spate of titles based on the Disney/Pixar licence, but a slow down in sales of recent games such as the poorly received Wall-E prompted CEO Brian Farrell to suggest the market for children's games is slowing down.
However, Graham Hopper, VP of interactive studios for Disney, has told GamesIndustry.biz that with a new Wii title due this summer and another based on the third Toy Story movie set for release in 2010, the company can put the Pixar name back at the top of the charts.
"Part of what we're doing is seeding the ground with Toy Story Mania, coming this holiday, which will be very different kind of gameplay to what we'll be doing in summer 2010," said Hopper in an exclusive interview published today.
"But we think they will be complimentary kinds of experiences. If there's one thing we know how to do it's manage franchises. We're going to do a good job with Toy Story and hopefully it will reset the bar in the right place."
Hopper acknowledged that THQs early Pixar tie-ins reached massive audiences, and Disney intends to reach those levels again once it reclaims the Pixar licence for good.
"Games like Cars did phenomenally well, absolutely phenomenal numbers, the kind of things that would blow most games out of the water in terms of volume," said Hopper.
"Those are really very high watermarks. We still think Toy Story has tremendous potential, it has pre-awareness, kids around the world know and love it. It's a natural. We have high expectations for how that's going to do."
The full interview with Graham Hopper, where he discusses Disney's investment in self-publishing, its collaborations with the Disney internet Group, and the success of Black Rock in the racing genre, can be read here.