John Drake, who was formerly Head of Portfolio Strategy and Content at PlayStation, has officially joined Disney. He’ll be joining the team as Vice President of Business Development and Licensing for Games. While we’ll have to see what this means for Disney’s plans in the gaming realm, it does seems as though Mickey Mouse is planning for a bigger push into the industry.
Here we go, Part 2!
Excited to announce that I’ve joined the team at Disney as VP of Business Development and Licensing for Games to help pair amazing developers and publishers with the best IP in the world. Still trying to be “that guy making cool games stuff happen!”
— johntdrake (@johntdrake) July 15, 2019
At Disney, Drake will be tasked with finding publishers and developers to license the plethora of IP the company owns to. Of course, Disney is much more than its classic stable of animated films, but also comprises of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm (and LucasArts). As of 2019, the company also owns 21st Century Fox, giving the Mouse ownership of properties like The Simpsons and Alien.
This model is already similar to how Disney operates currently. Star Wars and Marvel properties are licensed out to third party companies. That is how we’ve seen games like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Marvel’s Spider-Man come to be. Drake’s new role will likely oversee those divisions of the company, as well.
Disney has stepped away from the video game development ever since pulling the plug on Disney Infinity, instead opting to license its IP. However, considering how lucrative the model has been for the company, perhaps it is planning on increasing its presence. Warren Spector, who previously collaborated with Disney on the Epic Mickey video games, recently suggested Disney should get itself back in the industry. While this isn’t the company making an active push, it definitely seems like it wants to be more serious about its efforts.
What kind of Disney-based video games would you like to see? Let us know!