Disney Execs Reportedly Urged Its CEO To Stop Licensing Games IP And Just Buy EA

Disney Execs Reportedly Urged Its CEO To Stop Licensing Games IP And Just Buy EA

A new report from Bloomberg on Disney CEO Bob Iger and his current fight to keep the company running smoothly has shed a brief light on its latest potential gaming ambitions.

The bulk of the article is about how Iger, a dogged empire builder, has struggled to keep that empire growing against Silicon Valley intruders like Netflix and Apple since returning to the CEO role in 2022. According to Bloomberg’s sources, as Iger has looked for ways to build new and ongoing revenue, his deputies and advisors have begun to push for growth in the company’s gaming portfolio.

Bloomberg says there’s an internal desire to transform Disney from a company that licenses its IP to third-party publishers into one that makes its own games in-house. Part of that push, it appears, was a call to acquire Electronic Arts. This would make sense — EA is a company with whom Disney has a long history. It inked a (not terribly eventful) seven-year contract with EA in the 2010s on Star Wars games, an era that saw EA launch the anaemic Star Wars Battlefront and fumble the microtransaction riddled launch of Star Wars Battlefront II.

In recent years, it has found great success in continuing to license Star Wars to EA. Its single-player Star Wars Jedi series has proven extremely popular, and it has another single-player title, Star Wars Outlaws, in production over at Ubisoft. With so many third parties involved, its easy to see why the bean counters would be interested in a Do It Ourselves approach.

However, it seems that Iger, for his part, is yet to be convinced.

What’s really interesting about the section of Bloomberg’s piece this little nugget of information appears in is that it’s nestled in a paragraph about how Disney has fought to avoid investing in gambling for many years, but has found itself inching toward it as a revenue stream. Where can you find gambling that doesn’t feel like gambling? Why, look no further than the blockbuster games industry, which has made a 15-year art of pretending it isn’t asking you to pull the lever on a slot machine.

You can read Bloomberg’s full report right over here.

Image: Disney, EA, Kotaku Australia

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