Disney executives have spoken of their desire to increase the company’s investment in game development for handheld consoles, and are apparently looking for small game publishers and developers to acquire.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Andy Mooney, chairman of the company’s consumer products unit, said the company was particularly interested in handhelds because of the generally younger age group that uses them.
Mooney also commented that the company intends to devote an additional $40 million a year to develop new titles based on properties such as Pirates of the Caribbean and The Chronicles of Narnia.
The company also hopes to develop new video game characters that can then be migrated to other media such as TV and movies.
Although Mooney has indicated that the company is actively looking at small-to-midsize game publishers to acquire, he has admitted that the company is no longer considering a bid for Activision, because it has become too expensive.
Analysts have long felt that Disney has not being making the most of its resources and properties in the video game market, with no recent major hits save the unusual Square Enix cross-over title Kingdom Hearts and the THQ-published Finding Nemo.
Although Mooney did not mention either console by name, this latest move is likely spurred on by the imminent release of the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable, although there are no Disney licensed titles yet scheduled for either format.