Disney's upcoming D23 event will feature a showcase of its various video games in development. The corporation announced its first-ever standalone event for video games will take place on September 9, and feature multiple trailers, announcements, and reveals.
The last several years, Disney's been increasing its presence in the video game space. In addition to its many Fortnite crossovers and popular mobile titles, recent triple-A titles for both Marvel and Star Wars have found success. In recent years, it's also established licensing deals with several big publishers, including Bethesda and Ubisoft.
D23 is an annual event where the Disney Corporation reveals its incoming plans for its theme parks, TV shows, and films. In previous years, it's been used to show footage or announce news related to Marvel or Star Wars.
Disney's press release for the D23 games showcase confirms that Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and the recently delayed Marvel's Midnight Suns will be featured, along with the reveal of a new Marvel game from Skydance New Media. Run by Forspoken and Uncharted writer Amy Hennig, the studio announced its partnership with Marvel in late 2021.
A teaser for the showcase also features a look at the game Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. Developed by Ubisoft, it was recently delayed to release 2023-2024.
Disney wants to be big in games, like it is everywhere else
In 2019, then-CEO for Disney Bob Iger discussed how the company was attempting to get back into games after largely leaving the space following the short-lived Disney Infinity franchise. For its non-mobile titles, Iger said that it would just license its multitude of properties to outside developers and let the best studios take the reigns.
"The best place for us to be in that space is licensing and not publishing," said Iger in 2019. "We’ve had good relationships with some of those we’re licensing to, [...] we’re probably going to stay on that side of the business and put our capital elsewhere.”
This approach hasn't been without its share of issues, particularly in regards to Star Wars and several games being canceled mid-developent. Last month, news broke that the remake of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic from developer Aspyr would be indefinitely delayed, following a vertical slice of the game that was said to not meet developer expectations.
Even so, multiple Star Wars games continue to be in active development for consoles. Respawn Entertainment is releasing Star Wars Jedi: Survivor in 2023, and Detroit: Become Human developer Quantic Dream is developing the action game, Star Wars Eclipse.
On the Marvel side, Insomniac Games is currently developing Spider-Man 2 for a 2023 release. The same studio is also developing a solo game for the X-Men character Wolverine.