Officials from Buena Vista Games (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company, have announced that it is to become a multi-platform publisher in the UK, Germany and France.
With most of its licenses currently being developed and published by other companies in these territories – usually Ubisoft or THQ – the company is apparently keen to extend its portfolio of children’s titles to a wider audience, including “tweens”, teenagers and hardcore gamers.
The company will begin its publishing duties this summer, with the first major title being a video game based on the forthcoming Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe movie, to be released in November. The only other titles mentioned are games based on the animated movie Chicken Little, with no indication yet of what sort of titles the company may be looking at to attract older gamers.
The new arrangement will not alter existing publishing deals with THQ for Pixar-related games derived from the movies The Incredibles and Cars, with Capcom for The Nightmare Before Christmas
or with the Square Enix title Kingdom Hearts II
“This is an exciting opportunity for BVG in Europe,” says Thierry Braille, vice president and managing director in Europe. “Our goal is to become a leading player in the global video game industry by providing compelling game experiences to the mass-market on all major platforms by combining the wealth of IP that exists within The Walt Disney Company as well as the creation of new IP that we can leverage back into the rest of the organisation."
The news follows BVG’s recent decision
to acquire Tak and the Power of JuJu
developer Avalanche and set up a new development studio in Canada. Here again, the stated intention was to expand the company’s portfolio of titles and appeal to a wider range of age groups and gamers, and it's clear that Disney are making an aggressive bid to become a worldwide force in game publishing.