Graham Hopper, Disney Interactive’s general manager, sat down with Gamasutra to discuss the Wii, kids games, grown up games, movies, Squeenix, Kingdom Hearts, and all sorts of other stuff in an interesting mishmash of grown up gaming concerns and child’s play. Disney’s had a hand in the gaming world for quite some time, though they’ve shifted from licensing to producing, and have been beefing up their portfolio with studio acquisitions and new relationships. Will this spell a real shift in the future?
The key thing for us is being flexible. We never said that we wanted to move away from licensing, and we don’t intend to. Great examples of licensed games that we make that we would love to continue to make those licensed games.
A great example of that is Kingdom Hearts. It’s a great collaboration between Square and ourselves. Disney characters are in there, and Final Fantasy characters are in there. It’s the kind of collaboration that works, and where we see other opportunities like that, we will do them.
We’ve got a relationship with THQ, and things with Konami. It’s not an aberration for us to be licensing. They stay part of our portfolio. But a big piece of the focus is that we didn’t feel that purely following a license would give us the right kind of investment focus on quality, and building our brand in games where we thought we had the potential to do.
As tempting as it can be to dismiss a lot of the more casual and kid-geared offerings from companies like Disney, those markets are growing by leaps and bounds – a lot of kid games may fly under the proverbial radar while they’re snapping up new users like no tomorrow. It’s interesting to read how one company with a very well defined image is trying to cater to a number of pretty diverse markets.
Evolving Disney: Graham Hopper Speaks [Gamasutra]