DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS, INC. (formerly WALT DISNEY COMPUTER
SOFTWARE, DISNEY INTERACTIVE, BUENA VISTA INTERACTIVE and BUENA VISTA
GAMES) was an American video game developer and publisher owned by The
Walt Disney Company through
Disney Interactive . Prior to its closure
in 2016, it developed and distributed multi-platform video games and
interactive entertainment worldwide.
Most of the games released by
Disney Interactive Studios were
typically tie-in products to existing character franchises. On May
10, 2016, as a result of the discontinuation of its Disney Infinity
franchise , Disney exited the first party home console game
development business, in order to focus on third-party development of
home console video games through other developers such as Electronic
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment , Bandai Namco
Square Enix and
Capcom . However, it continues to
release games for iOS and Android devices under its own label, Disney
* 1 History
* 1.1 Walt Disney Computer Software
* 1.3 Buena Vista Games (2003–2007)
Disney Interactive Studios
* 2 List of games
* 3 Divisions
* 3.1 Moved to
* 3.2 Former/defunct
* 4 References
WALT DISNEY COMPUTER SOFTWARE
In 1988, Disney started its own in house gaming unit, Walt Disney
Computer Software (WDCS). WDCS generally used third-party development
studios to design spin-off games using its existing portfolio of
characters. WDCS had little success attributed by senior Disney
executives due to low product quality and lack of understanding the
differences between film and games.
The few market successes were third-party-published games based on
major Disney animated features like Aladdin and
The Lion King
The Lion King in 1993
and 1994 respectfully. This led to a move from self-developed and
self-published to funding and development management of games with
third parties published the game.
Using the film studio style formula, WDCS was reorganized into Disney
Interactive (DI) on December 5, 1994 with the merging of WDCS and
Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications division. On April
15, 1997, DI reduced its staff by 20% ending in-house video game
production. This increased the requests for licensing from
third-party games companies. Under this plan, development and
production cost risks were transferred to the game companies but
reduced the per-unit revenue generated to Disney and effectively
yielded a near 100 percent margin of licensed game sales. A
thirteen-game agreement was made between Nintendo of America and
Disney Interactive in 1999 for both the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy
BUENA VISTA GAMES (2003–2007)
Buena Vista Games (BVG) was spun out of
Disney Interactive in 2003
after a 2002 strategic review that chose to return to being a
dedicated games publisher. With DI focused on children's games, BVG
took on all other content game including mobile and online mediums.
Buena Vista Games is probably best known for the
Kingdom Hearts series
along with Japanese developer
Square Enix .
In April 2005, BVG purchased
Avalanche Software in
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City ,
Utah and started a
Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia based game development
Propaganda Games .
In September 2006, Buena Vista acquired Climax Racing . BVG formed a
new game studio,
Fall Line Studio , in November 2006 to create Disney
and new game titles for
Nintendo DS and the
DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company renamed Buena Vista Games to DISNEY
INTERACTIVE STUDIOS. The studio publishes both Disney and non-Disney
branded video games for all platforms worldwide, with titles that
feature its consumer brands including Disney, ABC ,
ESPN , and
Touchstone (which is used as a label for Disney). In July 2007, the
Junction Point Studios .
On June 5, 2008,
Disney Interactive Studios and the Walt Disney
Internet Group, merged into a single business unit now known as the
Disney Interactive Media Group, and it merged its subsidiary Fall
Line Studios with its sister studio, Avalanche Software, in January
2009. In February 2009,
Disney Interactive acquired
GameStar , a
Chinese game development company. On September 8, 2009, Disney
Interactive announced that it had acquired
Wideload Games .
DIS in October 2012 announced "Toy Box", a cross platform gaming
initiative where Pixar and Disney characters will interact from a
console game to multiple mobile and online applications. The first
Toy Box cross platform game is
Disney Infinity based on the Toy Story
3 game's Toy Box mode crossed with a toy line.
After the purchase of
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company in 2012,
Disney Interactive assumed the role of developing
Star Wars games for
the casual gaming market, while
Electronic Arts would develop Star
Wars games for the core gaming market through an exclusive license
LucasArts did retain the ability to license
Star Wars games
to other developers for the casual gaming market).
At E3 2013, Disney and
Square Enix released a teaser trailer for
Kingdom Hearts III, after going seven years of not declaring any
Kingdom Hearts game since
Kingdom Hearts II.
Disney Interactive Studios has lost more than $200 million per year
from 2008–2012 during a period in which it shut down Propaganda
Black Rock Studio and
Junction Point Studios and its
co-president John Pleasants stepped down in November 2013 after the
launch of Disney Infinity.
On March 6, 2014, 700 employees were laid off.
LIST OF GAMES
Main article: List of
Disney Interactive Studios games
The company also publishes games from Q Entertainment worldwide
Lumines II , the sequel to the puzzle game for the PSP
Lumines Plus , a new version of
Lumines for the PlayStation 2;
Every Extend Extra , a puzzle shooter; and a Disney Interactive
Studios's Meteos: Disney Edition , the popular
Meteos game for the
Nintendo DS with Disney characters.
The company revealed a lineup of games at E3 2006 , which include
Turok , a re-imagining of the video game series of the same name
and Desperate Housewives: The Game , based on the hit television show
Disney Interactive Studios is credited in all entries to the Kingdom
Hearts franchise, with the original release box art of each entry to
the series having different logos and name of the company seeing as
coincidentally, the company is re-branded in between the releases.
Notably however, the company is not credited to actually developing
MOVED TO DISNEY INTERACTIVE
* Gamestar, based in
China . Acquired February 2009.
* Rocket Pack
Avalanche Software , based in
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City ,
Utah . Acquired
April 2005. Shut down May 2016. Later re-opened and sold to Warner
Bros. Interactive Entertainment .
Black Rock Studio , acquired as Climax Racing in September 2006
and closed in July 2011.
Fall Line Studios , 2006–2009, merged into Avalanche Software.
Junction Point Studios , based in
Texas . Acquired July
2007. Shut down in January 2013.
Propaganda Games , 2005–2011.
Wideload Games , based in
Illinois . Acquired September
8, 2009. Shut down March 6, 2014.
* ^ A B Kohler, Chris (October 16, 2012). "How Videogames Are
Changing Disney". Wired.com. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
* ^ A B C D E Gibson, Nick (February 1, 2009). "Disney assault on
games market: acquisitions and restructuring underpin rapid growth".
Screen Digest. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
* ^ Polsson, Ken. "July to December 1994". Chronology of the Walt
Disney Company. Ken Polsson. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
* ^ Fisher, Maxine (1988). Walt Disney. pp. A8.
* ^ The New York Times. December 6, 1994. pp. D5. Missing or empty
title= (help ); access-date= requires url= (help )
* ^ CD-ROM Today. 3 (2): 26. 19 February 1995. Missing or empty
title= (help )
* ^ Windows Magazine. 6 (3): 42. March 1995. Missing or empty
title= (help )
* ^ Polsson, Ken. "1997". Chronology of the Walt Disney Company.
kpolsson.com. Retrieved 7 December 2012. source: CNet News.com,
* ^ Page 114. Volume 121 (June 1999). Nintendo Power. Accessed
April 18, 2016.
* ^ Kawamoto, Dawn (April 19, 2005). "Disney scoops up Avalanche,
founds new studio". gamespot.com. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
* ^ "Disney digs up Turok". gamespot.com. May 13, 2005. Retrieved
22 October 2012.
* ^ A B Sinclair, Brendan (September 28, 2006). "Buena Vista Games
to acquire Climax Racing". gamespot.com. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
* ^ "Disney to make Nintendo games". Los Angeles Times. Reuters.
November 8, 2006. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
* ^ Fixmer, Andy (April 25, 2007). "Disney to Drop Buena Vista
Brand Name, People Say". Bloomberg. Retrieved August 8, 2007.
* ^ A B "Disney buys game developer Junction Point". Los Angeles
Times. Bloomberg News. July 13, 2007. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
* ^ "Disney\'s games and internet divisions merging",
* ^ A B C Sinclair, Brendan (January 29, 2009). "Disney layoffs hit
Turok, Bolt studios". gamespot.com. Archived from the original on 7
March 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
* ^ A B "
Disney Interactive Studios Buys Chinese Gaming Studio
Gamestar". CBS News.com. Pearl Research. February 11, 2009. Retrieved
19 October 2012.
* ^ "
Disney Interactive Studios to Buy Wideload Games".
Entertainment Close-up. September 9, 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
* ^ Barnes, Brooks (October 21, 2012). "Disney, Struggling to Find
Its Digital Footing, Overhauls Disney.com". The New York Times.
Retrieved 23 October 2012.
* ^ Lang, Derrik J. (January 15, 2013). "Disney unveils own
\'Skylanders\'-like franchise". Business Week. AP. Archived from the
original on 25 February 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
* ^ "ELECTRONIC ARTS SELECTED FOR MULTI-YEAR AGREEMENT FOR THE
FUTURE OF STAR WARS GAMING". Lucasfilm. Star Wars.com. Retrieved 6 May
2013. While EA studios will develop for the core
Star Wars gaming
Disney Interactive will focus on delivering new Star Wars
games for casual audiences on mobile, social, tablet, and online
* ^ "
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company and EA Announce Multi-Year Star Wars
Games Agreement". Fort Mill Times. 6 May 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
* ^ A B Miller, Daniel (3 February 2014). "Disney Interactive
expected to begin layoffs". LA Times. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
* ^ "
Propaganda Games Shuttered" from
* ^ A B "Split Second Dev Black Rock To Close" from
* ^ A B Lang, Derrik J. (January 29, 2013). "Disney closing ‘Epic
Mickey’ video game developer". Washington Times. AP. Retrieved 30
* ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (6 March 2014). "
Disney Interactive lays off
Eurogamer . Gamer Network. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
* ^ http://na.square-enix.com/games/kingdomhearts/ -- © Disney.
Developed by SQUARE ENIX.
* ^ Macy, Seth G. (May 10, 2016). "Disney Cancels Infinity, No
Longer Self-Publishing Games". IGN. Retrieved May