Disney buying Marvel for $4 billion

Not bringing games in-house just yet.

The entertainment world is reeling from yesterday's news that Walt Disney is to buy Marvel Entertainment for a whopping $4 billion, (2.5 billion) - but Disney executives are saying that Marvel's current videogaming licensing won't be affected.

The deal brings Marvel's huge stable of comic-book superheroes into the house Mickey Mouse built. Characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men and Iron Man have enjoyed tremendous success in the cinema in recent years, and naturally in videogame spin-offs too.

But although Disney has recently been moving towards in-house production of games with Disney Interactive Studios, chief exec Bob Iger said he wouldn't be scrapping any of Marvel's exisiting licensing deals just yet.

"On the video game front, (Marvel) have some smart licensing agreements with some of the best video game manufacturers in the business," he told investors, according to Kotaku.

"While we have been steadily moving in the direction of video game integration, we don't rule out the blend of licensing and self-produced and distributed video games. As these licensing deals expire we have the luxury of considering what's best for the company and the products."

Activision (Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Wolverine), SEGA (Iron Man and other films), THQ (Super Hero Squad) and Gazillion (massively multiplayer games, including a second attempt to create Marvel Universe) all currently hold licenses to make games based on Marvel characters.

There won't be any change at the top at either company as a result of the acquisition. The deal still has to get through antitrust law and regulatory approval before it's sealed.

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