Disney CEO Bob Iger’s deputies are reportedly pushing him to consider acquiring a major game publisher like Electronic Arts.
That’s according to a new Bloomberg feature examining the current state of Disney, which claims senior executives want Iger to explore the possibility of transforming the company from a gaming licensee to a gaming giant with major first-party capabilities.
However, Disney’s boss is said to have been noncommittal about the prospect of acquiring a game publisher.
Iger, who is now in his second run as CEO of Disney, oversaw the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox during his first spell in charge.
As well as working on various Star Wars titles, including Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi series, EA announced last year that it had struck a deal to make “several new games” based on Marvel properties, including Iron Man and Black Panther titles.
It was reported last May that EA was actively pursuing a sale or merger, in the wake of recent M&A activity in the games industry such as Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which could be completed this week.
During an earnings call last summer, EA CEO Andrew Wilson was asked about reports that the company was pursuing a sale.
“First, I’m sure you don’t expect me to comment on rumors and speculation from some small red media outlets,” he responded. “But be that as it may, I would tell you, I think we are in an incredible position. We’re soon to be the largest standalone independent developer and publisher of interactive entertainment in the world.”
He added: “I think we’re growing across platforms, we’re growing across business models, and we’re growing across geographies. And in a world where gaming is becoming more important to the lives of Gen Z and Gen Alpha, who will be the leading generation in terms of consumption, entertainment for the future, I don’t think we could be in a stronger position as a standalone company.”