Disney is reportedly planning to sell its FoxNext Games development studio.
FoxNext was picked up as part of Disney’s $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets in March.
Founded in 2017, the studio is focused on creating licensed free-to-play mobile games such as Marvel Strike Force, which generated $150 million in its first year. It also has Avatar and Aliens titles currently in development.
But according to Bloomberg sources said to be familiar with the matter, Disney CEO Bog Iger wants to sell the business
During an earnings call in February, Iger said of the company’s video game operations: “We’ve just decided that the best place for us to be in that space is licensing and not publishing.”
It’s not a view shared by one of the company’s former key games creatives, Warren Spector, who told VGC in a recent interview that Disney should “absolutely” still be in video game development.
The renowned designer, whose CV includes Deus Ex, Thief and System Shock, spearheaded Disney’s most recent push into video games with his development house Junction Point Studios, which created the Epic Mickey series.
Asked if Disney should still be making games, the Deus Ex director said: “Absolutely. With the properties they control, I think just being a licensing organisation is a real shame.”
Former PlayStation portfolio boss John Drake was recently named Disney VP of business development and licensing for games.
Disney also plans to redefine Fox’s film development strategy, throwing plans for new movies based on Mega Man, The Sims, Hitman and Assassin’s Creed into doubt.
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