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Reader Comments (3)

Posted: Jan 3rd 2008 10:27AM eriksagen said

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My daughter would love Pixie Hollow. Sure, it isn't my cup o' tea, but the appeal is there so long as they do it right.

If what you say is correct, that the Imagineers will be aiding in the development of these "virtual worlds", then we might see some quality stuff coming out of Mouseville.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2008 1:07PM (Unverified) said

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I don't think that this investment is justified by the financial success of Disney's existing MMO efforts. I think this is still just seed money, Disney putting cash into a technology that it can't figure out, in hopes that some genius will rise through its ranks and give them the know-how to become an MMO entertainment titan.

Let's think about this rationally for a moment: Disney is accustomed to having a near-monopoly on children's fantasy entertainment. All through the 70's and 80's they were a global name and a symbol of the financial might of entertainment brands.

Yet beyond 2000, what have they become? A quaint operator of theme parks, mostly. All of their most valuable media properties, Cars, The Incredibles, Little Nemo, etc were created OUT OF STUDIO. True, they bought the studio that made them, but the fact remains that Disney's own creative power is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the child-to-young-adult entertainment world.

What's the biggest new thing in the young adult category? Again, not a Disney brand. This upstart named Blizzard is captivating a new generation of kids with their "Massively Multiplayer" magic.

So against a clear and present threat to their foundation like that, you would THINK that Disney would be able to spare more than $100 million to try to puzzle out how this new medium works. Especially more than a measly $10 million per MMO.

But no, they seem content to totally fail and miss opportunity after opportunity. But then, maybe it's all part of a long term strategy to grow their own in-house expertise before launching a major effort. OR, maybe it's corporate calcification, their arteries hardening as they become more and more risk-averse.

In the light of their true situation though, Disney's investment of $100 million seems like too little, too late. Blizzard is eating their lunch, and Blizzard alone is relatively acquisition-proof.

I suppose Disney could buy Activision-Blizzard if they really wanted to...

Posted: Jan 11th 2008 2:54AM mullingit0ver said

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Coherent:"So against a clear and present threat to their foundation like that, you would THINK that Disney would be able to spare more than $100 million to try to puzzle out how this new medium works. Especially more than a measly $10 million per MMO."

Considering Disney dropped $350 million on Club Penguin, with potential to drop another $350 million, this would be a total of $800 billion they're investing. That's money they could be putting into 8 big-budget movies, but they're betting it on virtual worlds. Disney is a Dow 30 company and they didn't get there by being fools.

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