Disney Admits It's Not So Great at Publishing Video Games, Prefers Licensing to EA

Disney doesn't have time for games, what with world domination and all.

Disney, ever the humble mega corporation, admitted in a financial briefing today that it's never been good with video games. Instead, Disney's CEO Bob Iger prefers the current licensing model for games, including its partnership with EA on the Star Wars franchise.

"We're good at making films and television shows and theme parks and cruise ships and the like, we've just never managed to demonstrate much skill on the publishing side of games," Iger said in a Q&A portion for today's financial briefing with investors.

In recent years Disney seems to have written off its internal video game aspirations, selling Disney Infinity developer Avalanche Software in 2017, and shutting down Club Penguin Island in 2018. Meanwhile, Disney entered a licensing deal with EA that gave the publisher exclusive rights to develop video games for the Star Wars franchise.

The deal has resulted in Star Wars Battlefront 1 and 2, and a handful of mobile games. But Star Wars Battlefront 2 also became the center of a massive controversy over its loot boxes, which has created legal challenges for the video game industry even today. EA is now working on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order through Respawn, and an unnamed Star Wars game at EA Vancouver.

Iger seems unfazed, however. "We're obviously mindful of the size of that [video game] business. Over the years, as you know, we've tried our hand at self-publishing, we've bought companies, we've sold companies, we've bought developers, we've closed developers," said Iger. "And we've found over the years that we haven't been particularly good at the self-publishing side, but we've been great at the licensing side."

In fact, Iger says Disney has "had good relationships with some of those we're licensing to, notably EA and the relationship on the Star Wars properties, and we're probably going to stay on that side of the business and put our capital elsewhere."

EA's Star Wars license seems safe after seven years and two console games. As previously stated, EA's got two Star Wars games in the works from its studios, and we'll hopefully hear more about them in the future. Disney, meanwhile, won't be making the jump to video game development anytime soon it seems.

Tagged with Action Adventure, Disney Infinity, Electronic Arts, News, PC, PlayStation 4, Shooters, Star Wars, The Walt Disney Company.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Read this next

Star Wars: Battlefront's Re-Release Reminds Me of What EA's Battlefront Games Are Missing

The original Star Wars: Battlefront is available on Steam and GOG, showcasing what's missing from the current iteration.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 is Getting a New Mode in the Style of the Battlefront Games of Old

The new Battlefront looks to its history for its new mode, Capital Supremacy.

A Timeline of EA's Struggles With Its Exclusive Star Wars License

EA's time with the Star Wars license is fraught with cancellations and controversies.

Star Wars Battlefront 2's Single-Player Campaign on Xbox One Has Some Major Bugs

Be ready to deal with some noticeable bugs during the single-player campaign.

More News

We're Going to Learn a Lot More About DeNa's Pokemon Masters Mobile Game Later This Week

The Pokemon Company is prepping a livestream event just for Pokemon Masters.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order's Full E3 Demo Released, Shows Exploration and Crew Interactions

The longer cut gives a glimpse at how you'll tackle the story at large.

Limited Run Games is Releasing New Star Wars NES and Game Boy Cartridges and They Look Brilliant

Those old Star Wars games can be yours if you're that attached to them.

More on PC

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order's Full E3 Demo Released, Shows Exploration and Crew Interactions

The longer cut gives a glimpse at how you'll tackle the story at large.

The Division 2 Exotic Holster: How to Get the Dodge City Gunslinger’s Holster

There’s a brand new piece of Exotic Gear in The Division 2. Here’s how to get your hands on the Dodge City Gunslinger’s Holster.

The Division 2 Gunner Specialization - Which Specialization to Pick, How to Earn Specialization Points

You’ll gain access to a powerful fourth weapon once you reach the endgame in The Division 2. Here’s what you need to know about Specialization.

Apex Legends Season 2 Release Date - When Does Season 2 of Apex Legends Start?

This is our guide to the Apex Legends Season 2 start date, including Battle Pass details and more.

Fortnite Beach Party Locations - How to Complete the Fortnite Beach Parties Challenges

Here's our guide to all the Fortnite beach party locations, so you can complete the new Fortnite beach parties challenge.

Fortnite 14 Days of Summer Challenges and Rewards

Here's our guide to the full Fortnite 14 Days of Summer LTM, including start date, schedule, rewards, and more.

FIFA 19 Best Young Players With Highest Potential Under 21

In this FIFA 19 Potential guide, we detail the best young FIFA 19 players you can buy in the FIFA 19 Career Mode.

More Action Adventure Games

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order's Full E3 Demo Released, Shows Exploration and Crew Interactions

The longer cut gives a glimpse at how you'll tackle the story at large.

Is There a Spider-Man Far From Home Video Game?

With Spidey’s latest flick swinging onto screens very soon indeed, let’s take a look at whether there is a Spider-Man Far From Home Video Game.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Champions' Ballad - How to Start BOTW DLC Pack 2

This is our guide on how to get started with the Zelda Breath of the Wild Champions' Ballad DLC pack.

Capcom Still Wants to Make New IP, Even as Established Franchises Find New Life

Capcom hasn't given up on new franchises, but older ones are doing better than ever.