Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Disney in Deal For Gamers

BOB IGER Disney boss.

BOB IGER Disney boss.

By PETER LAURIA; Source: NY Post

Disney is in a buying mood.

Less than a week after stunning the entertainment industry with its $4 billion deal to buy Marvel Comics, the Mouse house yesterday said it agreed to buy edgy videogame developer Wideload Games.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

As part of the deal, Wideload Games founder and CEO Alexander Seropian will join Disney's Interactive Studios unit in the newly created role of vice president of creative.

Seropian is considered a videogame visionary, who helped create the successful "Halo" franchise for Microsoft's Xbox after selling his former company, Bungie Software, to the software giant in 2000.

With the two purchases, Disney is attempting to make inroads into what has been an elusive demographic: 'tween males. Though it has a hold on 'tween girls with Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers and other properties, appealing to boys has been a bigger challenge for the company.

The purchases underscore Disney's perception that videogames are the way to bring young men back into the fold.

Indeed, the Marvel deal was done not just because of the movie potential of comic book characters like Spider-Man and Iron-Man, but also because of the videogame franchises that can be developed.

In buying Wideload Games, Disney is betting that Seropian -- like a successful movie producer -- can develop another hit on the order of "Halo."

Wideload's Games include "Stubbs the Zombie," in which gamers take the role of a "rebel without a pulse," "Hail to the Chimp" and "Texas Cheat' Em."

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