Disney buys Seropian's Wideload Games

Bungie founder becomes creative boss.

Disney has added Wideload Games - the creator of Stubbs the Zombie and Hail to the Chimp, led by Bungie founder Alex Seropian - to its ever-expanding suite of games studios.

As part of the deal, Seropian moves to Disney head office to become vice president of creative for Disney Interactive Sudios, where he'll oversee the "creative development" of all Disney games - including the work of Warren Spector's Junction Point Studios and Brighton racing specialists Black Rock.

According to an interview Seropian gave to 1up, the acquisition came about when Wideload started talking to Disney about publishing an unannounced game it's developing, and recognised a mutual interest in "family-oriented multiplayer games".

Seropian said nothing will change for Wideload, which will stay in Chicago with the same staff, and continue to focus on original, humorous games. "Everybody that worked at Wideload yesterday still works at Wideload today, and will continue to," he said. "Everybody there is really excited about this opportunity, because not only will they get to continue being Wideload, but they'll get to continue being Wideload with the power and support of Disney."

Seropian's role will be to greenlight Disney games and steer them in the right direction, whether they're original properties or licences, and to find a way to connect the Disney brand with gamers.

"So bringing those two together and making a great development organization here - that's really what I'm here for," he said. "And just in personal terms, it's frickin' cool, right? There's just so much here. There's a lot of talent here; there's a lot of resources here. I mean, it's Disney. So for me personally, it's hugely exciting. This is a real stage to have a big impact."

Seropian founded Bungie with Jason Jones in 1991, and sold it to Microsoft in 2000 while Halo was in development. He left to start Wideload in 2004, since when the studio has worked on Xbox action adventure Stubbs, satirical minigame compilation Hail to the Chimp, and smaller-scale download games.

Games currently in development at Disney Interactive include Black Rock's action racer Split/Second, and Spector's rumoured Wii exclusive, Epic Mickey.

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Oli Welsh

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