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Disney's bottom line improves as it turns its back on consoles
Disney's bottom line improves as it turns its back on consoles
November 9, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi

Disney's been phasing out its traditional console game development in favor of a larger focus on social and mobile, and it seems to be working out.

The company says that its Interactive division lost $216 million during its last fiscal year, which wrapped up September 29. That sounds like a lot, but it compares favorably to the $308 million it lost the previous year.

That year saw a big console push that saw the launch of major, HD games that included Disney Epic Mickey, Tron Evolution, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean and Cars 2.

The company did manage to release a handful of console games this past year -- Disney Universe and a low budget tie-in to the film Brave being the highlights -- but for the most part it has transformed itself into a digital company.

Fiscal 2012 saw a lot of revenue generated by mobile games Gardens of Time, Temple Run: Brave and Where's My Water which, while technically a fiscal 2011 release, hit its stride in the last year.

The company hasn't abandoned consoles completely: a big multiplatform sequel to the Wii-exclusive Epic Mickey is due later this month. However, the company has no currently announced plans for further console development.

In fact, when the company made a surprise acquisition of Lucasfilm (and its video game division, LucasArts), it said of its newly-acquired Lucas IP that it would still make new games, but they would be in the social and mobile space. Any console games would, more than likely, be released by other companies licensing its properties.

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