Disney To Sell Fox Gaming Division – FoxNext
The Walt Disney Company intends to make good on its promise to divest from internal video game development.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Patrick Shanley wrote Tuesday that Disney is planning to sell Fox’s video game division, FoxNext:
Executives are shopping FoxNext, the video game development unit founded by Fox in 2017, a source with knowledge of the decision tells The Hollywood Reporter. Disney representatives did not immediately respond to request for comment. FoxNext declined comment.
Largely known for developing mobile titles such as Marvel Strike Force and Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow, FoxNext is led by president Salil Mehta, who formerly served as an exec at the Disney before moving to Fox in 2013. He wound up back at Disney this year when Disney’s $71.3 billion deal for the Fox assets was finalized.
The decision to sell the division comes as Disney has backed away from internal development of gaming titles. During an earnings call in February, Disney CEO Bob Iger made a rare concession in regards to the company’s past forays into the gaming industry. “We’re obviously mindful of the size of that business, but over the years we’ve tried our hand at self-publishing … and we’ve found that we haven’t been particularly good at the self-publishing side,” he said, noting the company would be focusing on licensing its many marquee brands in the future rather than publishing its own titles.
Shanley added that FoxNext is currently developing games based on Alien and Avatar.
Bloomberg’s Christopher Palmeri, who broke the story, added:
Disney, like many entertainment giants, has a checkered history in video games. In 2016, the company shut down its Infinity line of toys and games and many of its game studios. Club Penguin, a once-popular online game, was also shuttered.
Since then, Disney has largely been licensing its characters and brands to game-makers, such as Electronic Arts Inc., which is releasing a “Star Wars” title in November. Iger reiterated the strategy on a February conference call.
“We’ve just decided that the best place for us to be in that space is licensing and not publishing,” Iger said.
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