It would be an understatement to say that Disney has been busy in the video game business. While Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers may have fallen short of expectations, Insomniac’s PlayStation-exclusive Spider-Man games have been huge hits.
Despite EA’s rough start with the Star Wars franchise, 2019’s Jedi: Fallen Order won over jaded fans with its strong single-player emphasis, while Zynga’s Star Wars: Hunters appears to be a promising multiplayer mobile experience. Even while AAA games are in the works for properties like Indiana Jones and Avatar, Disney may be turning its gaming attention to a particular fun-loving mouse.
Walt Disney Games executive vice president Sean Shoptaw suggested in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz earlier today that his business is spreading out in terms of which assets get turned into video games, and Mickey Mouse is constantly on their radar.
“We’re really happy with some of the Disney executions we currently have in market — on the mobile side specifically with Princesses and some of the traditional characters. But we agree, we think there’s many more stories to tell. We love the original characters, Mickey and crew. We think there’s enormous opportunity and it’s a very underserved part of our portfolio today, especially on the console side. I think you’ll start to see that… there’s a lot more to come.”
Aside from the aforementioned Kingdom Hearts series, in which Mickey fought to protect the universe from the forces of darkness, the legendary mouse made his final solo console appearance in the short-lived Epic Mickey series – which showed promise in its first installment in 2010 but fizzled out with the sequel, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, in 2012.
The problem in licensing an IP, according to Luigi Priore, vice president of Disney & Pixar Games, is finding “the best in class people out there” to produce a new perspective on a property, whether it’s a triple-A studio or an indie publisher eager to make their impact on the industry.
Mickey Mouse is a well-known character that appeals to both young and elderly players, and he’s adaptable enough to fit into a variety of genres. After all, he’s been a part of platformers and expansive JRPGS since the genre’s inception. Only time will tell what new gaming adventure Mickey will find himself in, but it will be fascinating to watch where Disney’s most famous figure will end himself next.