Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Warner's Path & The Mouse's Mistakes...

Mr. Iger, Valve is calling...






There's a really good article over at the LA Times about the Mouse's competition...

Not the film competition, or the theme park competition, but the gaming competition. Disney Interactive has been one of the few sore spots for the Walt Disney Company over the last five years. It's clear that the strategy they started out with hasn't worked. The pull back from the original strategy of the division, as well as the closing of companies it bought has revealed several weaknesses in the Mouse's plan.

Meanwhile, across town in Burbank, Warner Bros. seems to be following a much more successful path. There really is no excuse for Disney, as it has as much, if not more resources than Warner. It's clear that the companies and titles they produced, with exceptions of course, haven't been up to quality. WB Games has taken a strategy that has paid off very well, and this year will have revenues of over a billion dollars.

The Mouse continues to bleed red, though. While Warner bought Rocksteady, Disney bought Propaganda Games. Warner bought Traveller's Tales, and Disney bought Black Rock. When they should have bought a company like Valve or something like Sony's Naughty Dog. Instead, they aimed low and expected to go high.

Perhaps they will take a page from Warner, or perhaps not. But the path they have chosen is closer to what I'm sure Disney Interactive would have liked to have seen. Too bad they didn't follow that direction.

Gaming isn't as easy as they expected...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Buy Valve. Make Valve land. Sell Cake. Build GLaDOS. Heavy happy.

Andrew said...

It would be impossible for Disney to buy Naughty Dog, sadly. Giving credit where it's due, WB have done a great job with the Batman games. Disney need to really up-the-ante and start producing Marvel games internally - the Avengers game is hanging on by a thread as the studio that was making it has been shut.

Valve are an interesting one, but if Disney really wants to embrace Gaming then Electronic Arts are the best bet. They own all major sports games which could tie into ESPN. EA mobile consists of Plants vs Zombies so Disney would really boost their mobile offerings. EA owns the second largest social gaming company on Facebook - in contrast Disney owns the third.

Overall the companies are more than traditional gaming on a PS3/Xbox so combining would give Disney a very decent foothold of the ever expanding market.

Eric said...

Maybe if they fought for the user, they would not be seeing their money fly off the grid.

Anonymous said...

Well, Epic Mickey was pretty good. And I hear there's talk of a sequel that will be playable across multiple platforms (hopefully PS3). Hope it happens.

And you know, Epic Mickey would make a pretty great movie.

perfectly flawed said...

Question, does anyone know if Disney Interactive plans to develop Marvel properties once the contracts with Sega or Activision end? Or perhaps Disney should buy them out?

Anonymous said...

Thing is Gabe Newell, owner of Valve, has repeatedly claimed he would never sell his company or make it public. As it would then pressure them to dole out sequels to please the shareholders, when they have been taking their time to release excellent games (valve time). They are also more profitable per employee than Google or Apple. They have built up a rapport with neglected pc gamers, who think of them as the last bastion of pc games, that Valve could stand to lose it if swallowed up by the mouse.

Anonymous said...

I didsagree. Epic Mickey was not good. That game was more like an epic failure considering the game's concept, story and potential that played with the darker side of disney pop-cultural history in the scope of it's own historical creative milieu. Instead of the compelling and whimsical gaming experience that it could've been, we got a white-washed, bland, slight reconfiguration that is completely devoid of anything unique or original. A typical disney rehash.

thelastking said...

Being a "Kingdom Hearts" fanatic, I have always wished that Disney would buy Square Enix. I also agree with another commenter who said they should buy Valve. I think having theses two successful game companies and their talent working for them would be just as beneficial to Disney as acquiring marvel and Pixar.