Disney has folded its gaming business into the toy division, probably signalling the absolute end to the company’s traditional development activities.
Disney Interactive, once a moderately prolific publisher, is officially no more.
The House of Mouse has announced the merger of its Interactive and Consumer Products divisions into the newly-christened Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.
It makes a lot of sense; Disney has pretty much axed all its traditional console game development efforts with the exception toys-to-life effort Disney Infinity, which has a great deal of synergy with existing Consumer Product endeavours.
It’s always sad to see a publisher bow out of the game, but Disney Interactive did nothing but struggle for several years before Disney Infinity launched and turned things around. It had cancelled all other known in-house development projects by that stage, shuttering studios like Junction Point, Propaganda Games and Black Rock Studio.
The modern Disney prefers to license its products to third-parties, as with EA’s Star Wars games (Battlefront and Amy Hennig’s project at Visceral Games) and its continued relationship with Square Enix for Kingdom Hearts. Unfortunately I doubt we’ll see properties like Split/Second, Turok and Epic Mickey resurrected by licensees, as it’s notoriously difficult to get Disney to let go of old properties.