Over the summer, rumors began to appear that The Walt Disney Company was pushing CEO Bob Iger to acquire a major stake in the video game industry. The focus was set on the entertainment giant acquiring Electronic Arts (EA), a well-known gaming studio that is often tasked with creating games for Disney.
The company has made no official comment on the speculation. However, an interview with a major Disney executive recently discussed the possible purchase of EA.
Disney Addresses Electronic Arts Purchase Rumors
In a recent Axios interview with Sean Shoptaw, Senior Vice President for Global Games and Interactive Experiences at The Walt Disney Company, the executive shed light on the ongoing speculation surrounding Disney’s potential entry into the gaming market through a major acquisition.
Addressing the rumors of the purchase of EA, Shoptaw neither confirmed nor denied the possibility, emphasizing the company’s current strategic position and expressing satisfaction with its external development approach.
Shoptaw acknowledged the widespread discussions suggesting that Disney should pursue significant acquisitions to fortify its presence in the gaming industry. However, he refrained from directly responding to the specific EA rumor, instead highlighting the success of recent hit video games developed through Disney’s existing external partnerships.
“It’s not just this easy assumption to say, ‘Well, Disney could do that in-house,'” Shoptaw commented, pointing to acclaimed titles such as EA’s Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and Gameloft’s popular Disney Dreamlight Valley as examples of the company’s successful collaborations in the gaming space.
Disney Franchise Games
Game releases utilizing Disney franchises have been way more well-received in recent years. We can confirm firsthand that Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was a fantastic game with characters and a story that beat out many of Disney’s movies or series in the Star Wars franchise.
Disney Dreamlight Valley is also a cute way to experience many different Disney characters and franchises under the guise of a life simulator. We can also attest that it is highly addicting!
The interview revealed that Disney is content with its current strategic approach, which involves leveraging external development resources to create compelling gaming experiences.
Shoptaw expressed satisfaction with the ongoing partnerships that have yielded successful titles, emphasizing the value of external collaboration in achieving Disney’s gaming objectives.
Upcoming Disney Games
Shoptaw also gave updates on several anticipated Disney franchise games that are still in development. He is excited about Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts 4, future EA Marvel titles involving Iron Man and Black Panther, and a Microsoft Indiana Jones game.
Furthermore, he recognizes the demand for the announced Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake. However, he refused to confirm whether the troubled game was still in active development.
Several other studios released successful games under the Disney umbrella this fall, including Sony’s Spider-Man 2 and Massive’s Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. Furthermore, the company revealed some new announcements at The Game Awards, including a Microsoft game based on Marvel’s Blade franchise.
While the rumors of a potential acquisition, particularly of a gaming giant like EA, have fueled speculation within the industry, Shoptaw’s comments suggest that Disney is in no rush to make major moves.
The executive’s measured response indicates a deliberate and thoughtful approach to the company’s gaming strategy, focusing on building on existing successes rather than hastily pursuing acquisitions.
While the gaming market remains a topic of interest and discussion, Disney seems content with its current trajectory and is keen on maintaining its strategic position in the gaming industry.