Disney turns away from high-end games

Sticking to DS and Wii, in the main.

Disney is planning to scale back the number of "high-end" console games it produces, focusing on the casual market instead.

"The typical game that we set out to make, which I'll call a Disney branded game, seems to perform better on the Nintendo Wii and DS platforms and on the platform basically that are not the high-end console games," CEO Bob Iger said in a conference call (overheard by Gamespot).

"So while we're going to continue to make games for the high-end, we'll be very, very judicious in how many and which ones we choose."

According to Iger those high-end games cost an awful lot to develop and marke. Plus there's huge competition from the casual sector and new platforms like the iPhone. Disney plans to focus on these areas, particularly with regard to the advent of the iPad, and is already producing apps for ABC, ESPN and Marvel.

So where does that leave Disney's high-end console franchises like Split/Second, Pure and, er, Turok? Iger didn't say, but he did mention the company's recent acquisition of the rights to Marvel characters. Iger reckons the Marvel brand will do "extremely well on the higher-end consoles".

Disney's Interactive Media division racked up $221 million in revenues during the final quarter of last year. This marked a 29 per cent decrease year-on-year, attributed to the fact Disney published less games. Losses stood at $10 million, down from $45 million the year before. Club Penguin's doing awfully well, apparently.

Overall Disney posted revenues of $9.74 billion and net income of $844 million. Not bad for a Mickey Mouse company. It's just not worth going on is it.

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