Disney plans on tripling the amount of money it’s spending on video game development over the next five years. Last year’s development budget was $100 million; this year’s development budget is expected to be $130 million. In five years they plan on spending $350 million, primarily for development on consoles and hand-helds.
According to Tom Staggs, Disney’s CFO, 90 percent of Disney’s development efforts across gaming, including mobile, fall under the Disney brand. Staggs said, “It is not that we have no position in the market, it is that as a developer and publisher our activities have been very limited. But to the extent that we are successful in creating games as a publisher … there is substantially more economic upside to the company.”
In addition to contemplating moves such as a Spectrobes sequel for the DS, Staggs says Disney is looking into virtual worlds such as Second Life. How Disney will manage to maintain such a diverse portfolio of project remains to be seen. Hopefully they’ll be bringing some amount of innovation to the table along with their money.