Mickey is looking for some new ideas and the talent to develop them. He’s not scared to pay to get either.
In a press release, the companies announced the deal Tuesday morning.
In contrast to the Marvel purchase, the Wideload buy seems almost singularly about the people. Wideload won’t be bringing a cache of known brands or readily saleable products to the Disney family. There won’t be any super heroes or arch villains to pepper story arcs or cross the media boundaries of Disney’s empire. Since being founded in 2003, Wideload has developed only a handful of games.
Prior to Wideload, Seropian was a co-founder of Bungie Software, the developer behind Myth and then Halo, the best selling franchise for the Xbox platform. Between Bungie and Wideload, Alex has years of experience leading game development projects. (Bungie was founded in 1991. Microsoft bought it in 2000 and then spun it off in 2007).
“Alex has built his reputation around the power of original thinking. In leading the studio that created Halo, he helped turn great storytelling, exceptional design and polished gameplay into the ‘killer app’ for Xbox. Alex’s leadership of our creative community will enhance our ability to be a magnet for the best talent in the industry and enable the company to take an even more significant role in developing industry leading products, ” said Graham Hopper, the executive vice president and general manager of Disney Interactive Studios.
As part of the deal, Seropian will relocate to Glendale where he will join Disney Interactive in a new role as vice president of creative. He’ll report to Global Product Development Senior Vice President Jean-Marcel Nicolai and be tasked with overseeing creative development across Disney Interactive Studios’ broader portfolio of video games.
The rest of the Wideload team will remain in its Chicago offices where the company’s core team will work on original IP. Wideload Shorts, the company’s casual games group, will create original properties for downloadable and mobile games.
Tom Kang, Wideload’s president, will continue to lead the studio as studio director.
Financial terms for the acquisition weren’t disclosed.