Since then, the main thing Disney has to show for itself in terms of video games is Kingdom Hearts. While Kingdom Hearts is still going strong with some successful recent entries, Disney really doesn’t have much to do with the franchise. It’s mostly just allowing Square Enix to work with Disney properties like Mickey Mouse, many Disney-Pixar movies, and so on. Disney has left a void of original Disney video games, and the longer it goes without re-entering the industry, the more potential Disney loses. Even so, there’s still enough opportunity for it to return to the industry, potentially giving Disney Interactive a new lease on life with bold new games. Disney has certainly put some work into the video game industry previously. In the 1990s and early 2000s, it loved making games starring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and all their friends. Its production schedule has slowed down a lot, though, even if it had some successes. For instance, action-adventure platformer Epic Mickey was met positively and garnered a cult following in spite of its flaws, and it was definitely interesting as a new take on Mickey Mouse. Disney also worked on the sandbox Disney Infinity with Avalanche Software for many years, and critics generally agreed that Disney Infinity and its follow-ups were solid. RELATED: All the Times the MCU Referenced Video Games
RELATED: A Look Back at Disney’s Online Virtual Magic Kingdom and Why It Should Return It’s understandable that Disney has mostly wanted to stick to its strengths when it’s spent the last several years acquiring huge movie properties like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars. However, now that those works have stabilized and proved themselves successful alongside Disney+, it’s time for Disney to do something else. Now is a great time for Disney to invest in the video game market again and push for games based on some of its oldest and most precious properties. Game technology is rapidly improving with the help of new consoles, and Disney is far from short on resources to invest in development. It ought to give video games another chance.
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The reason Disney isn’t making very many video games lately clearly isn’t because it’s short on inspiration or motive. It just hasn’t been prioritizing video games the way it once did. It’s come far enough with projects like Disney+ to pivot back into the game industry. The PS5 and Xbox Series X are still very new consoles, so Disney has the opportunity to get a fresh start by making games for a new console generation. Disney is no small company, so frankly, it’s surprising to see that it isn’t trying to broaden its horizons into gaming once again. Maybe someday soon Disney will realize how much it has to gain by recapturing its former video game glory.
Disney has more properties to turn into video games than ever. It could go with a safe choice and make a game starring Mickey or Donald Duck, capitalizing on those classic characters’ star power to draw in fans. It could try something a little more recent and play into the seeming rise of pirate games like Skull and Bones by revamping Pirates of the Caribbean. It could collaborate with Pixar to make bold new games that are more than video game adaptations with movies. It might even decide to take the Marvel and Star Wars properties and internally develop that can stand up to recent games like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Marvel’s Avengers. Plenty of Material
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