What the Disney/Marvel merger could mean for gamers
Earlier this week, news broke that Disney will be acquiring Marvel Entertainment and its vast portfolio of over 5000 characters. The agreement came to Marvel shareholders receiving $30 in cash and about 0.745 shares of Disney for each share they held, totaling approximately $4 billion.
As fans of both Disney and Marvel, we can’t help but wonder how this will affect the gaming community. Will we be seeing a cross-over game featuring superheroes and cartoon characters ala Kingdom Hearts or will the differences be much more subtle?
Both companies have had success in the video game department; Disney has their own development studio, Disney Interactive, while Marvel relies on third party developers to get the job done.
It is interesting to note that during a conference call with Disney Investors, the company discussed the following…
With regards to video game publishing, Disney praised Marvel’s licensing agreements with some of the best video game producers and publishers in the business and said moving forward they will consider what’s best for each individual property as each licensing deal comes up for renewal and that there would likely be a blend of licensed and self-produced/self-distributed titles.
So don’t expect the Iron Man series to leave the hands of SEGA. And why should it? SEGA has the experience and knowledge of the engine for Iron Man. It would be unbeneficial, not to mention costly, to start fresh with new developers. Of course, that’s not saying that we won’t be seeing Disney Interactive develop a few superhero games of its own.
It’s quite possible that we will see an emergence of more superheroes on our consoles, both the popular and more unknown. Disney is a much larger company then Marvel and with the extra assets and tools at their disposal, they can afford to experiment a little bit and see which characters work and which don’t.
Honestly, this is all just speculation at the moment. There is no telling what will happen to the Marvel universe but if history tells us anything, we probably won’t see that big a change in things.
Disney is a giant corporation that has purchased a plethora of companies including ABC, Pixar, and even ESPN. Yes, a company specializing in sports and totally non-children related subject matter is 80% owned by Disney. What we are looking at is a company being run independently despite being under the wing of a corporation farthest from the idea of sports entertainment. This is most likely what will happen with their acquisition of Marvel.
Of course, it is all up to the higher-ups as to how they wish to run their own company. There is one thing that is for certain though. With a wider selection of resources and options available, future releases from both Disney and Marvel should be better, making it a win for us gamers.