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Disney Interactive Studios

  (Redirected from Buena Vista Games)

Disney Interactive Studios, Inc. (originally established as Walt Disney Computer Software, Disney Interactive, Buena Vista Interactive, and Buena Vista Games) was an American video game developer and publisher owned by The Walt Disney Company through Disney Interactive. Prior to its closure in 2016, it developed and distributed multi-platform video games and interactive entertainment worldwide.

Disney Interactive Studios, Inc.
  • Walt Disney Computer Software
  • Disney Interactive
  • Buena Vista Games
IndustryInteractive entertainment
FateClosed by parent company
Founded1988; 31 years ago (1988)
DefunctMay 10, 2016; 3 years ago (2016-05-10)
ProductsVideo games
ParentDisney Interactive
(Disney Parks, Experiences and Products)

Most of the games released by Disney Interactive Studios were typically tie-in products to existing character franchises.[1] On May 10, 2016, as a result of the discontinuation of its Disney Infinity series, Disney shut down Disney Interactive Studios, and exited the first party home console game development business in order to focus on third-party development of home console video games through other developers such as Electronic Arts (Star Wars games), WB Games (owned by rival company Warner Bros., which handles the publishing of Disney-related Lego video games and Cars 3: Driven to Win), Bandai Namco Entertainment, Square Enix (Kingdom Hearts), and Capcom (several Disney games and Marvel vs. Capcom). However, it continues to release games for iOS and Android devices under its own label, Disney Mobile.[citation needed]



Walt Disney Computer SoftwareEdit

In 1988, Disney started its own in house gaming unit,[1] Walt Disney Computer Software (WDCS). WDCS generally used third-party development studios to design spin-off games using its existing portfolio of characters. WDCS had little success attributed by senior Disney executives due to low product quality and lack of understanding the differences between film and games.[2]

The few market successes were third-party-published games based on major Disney animated features like Aladdin and The Lion King in 1993 and 1994 respectively. This led to a move from self-developed and self-published to funding and development management of games with third parties published the game.[2]

Disney InteractiveEdit

Using the film studio style formula, WDCS was reorganized into Disney Interactive (DI)[2] on December 5, 1994 with the merging of WDCS and Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications division.[3][4][5][6][7] On April 15, 1997, DI reduced its staff by 20% ending in-house video game production.[8] This increased the requests for licensing from third-party games companies. Under this plan, development and production cost risks were transferred to the game companies but reduced the per-unit revenue generated to Disney and effectively yielded a near 100 percent margin of licensed game sales.[2] A thirteen-game agreement was made between Nintendo of America and Disney Interactive in 1999 for both the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Color.[9]

Buena Vista Games (2003–2007)Edit

Buena Vista Games (BVG) was spun out of Disney Interactive in 2003 after a 2002 strategic review that chose to return to being a dedicated games publisher. With DI focused on children's games, BVG took on all other content game including mobile and online mediums.[2] Buena Vista Games is probably best known for the Kingdom Hearts series along with Japanese developer Square Enix.[citation needed]

In April 2005, BVG purchased Avalanche Software in Salt Lake City, Utah and started a Vancouver, British Columbia based game development studio,[10] Propaganda Games.[11]

In September 2006, Buena Vista acquired Climax Racing.[12] BVG formed a new game studio, Fall Line Studio, in November 2006 to create Disney and new game titles for the Nintendo DS and the Wii console.[13]

Disney Interactive StudiosEdit

In 2007, The Walt Disney Company renamed Buena Vista Games to Disney Interactive Studios.[14] The studio publishes both Disney and non-Disney branded video games for all platforms worldwide, with titles that feature its consumer brands including Disney, ABC, ESPN, and Touchstone (which is used as a label for Disney). In July 2007, the studio acquired Junction Point Studios.[15]

On June 5, 2008, Disney Interactive Studios and the Walt Disney Internet Group, merged into a single business unit now known as the Disney Interactive Media Group,[16] and it merged its subsidiary Fall Line Studios with its sister studio, Avalanche Software, in January 2009.[17] In February 2009, Disney Interactive acquired GameStar, a Chinese game development company.[18] On September 8, 2009, Disney Interactive announced that it had acquired Wideload Games.[19]

In November 2010 the executive Graham Hopper left the company.[20] He announced his departure via an internal e-mail saying "the time has come for me to move on from the company and set my sights on new horizons."[21]

DIS in October 2012 announced "Toy Box", a cross platform gaming initiative where Pixar and Disney characters will interact from a console game to multiple mobile and online applications.[22] The first Toy Box cross platform game is Disney Infinity based on the Toy Story 3 game's Toy Box mode crossed with a toy line.[23]

After the purchase of Lucasfilm by The Walt Disney Company in 2012, Disney Interactive assumed the role of developing Star Wars games for the casual gaming market, while Electronic Arts would develop Star Wars games for the core gaming market through an exclusive license (although LucasArts did retain the ability to license Star Wars games to other developers for the casual gaming market).[24][25]

At E3 2013, Disney and Square Enix released a teaser trailer for Kingdom Hearts III, after going seven years of not declaring any console Kingdom Hearts game since Kingdom Hearts II.

Disney Interactive Studios has lost more than $200 million per year from 2008–2012[26] during a period in which it shut down Propaganda Games,[27] Black Rock Studio[28] and Junction Point Studios[29] and its co-president John Pleasants stepped down in November 2013 after the launch of Disney Infinity.[26]

On March 6, 2014, 700 employees were laid off.[30] In November 2018, Disney agreed to have Jam City take over operation of its Glendale game studio, sell them Emoji Blitz and for develop of future Pixar and Walt Disney Animation franchises games. Staff at the studio would be offered jobs with Jam City working of the Disney titles.[31]

List of gamesEdit

The company also publishes games from Q Entertainment worldwide except Asia: Lumines II, the sequel to the puzzle game for the PSP system; Lumines Plus, a new version of Lumines for the PlayStation 2;[32] Every Extend Extra, a puzzle shooter;[33] and a Disney Interactive Studios's Meteos: Disney Edition, the popular Meteos game for the Nintendo DS with Disney characters.[34][35]

The company revealed a lineup of games at E3 2006, which include DIE's Turok, a re-imagining of the video game series of the same name and Desperate Housewives: The Game, based on the hit television show.

Disney Interactive Studios is credited in all entries to the Kingdom Hearts franchise, with the original release box art of each entry to the series having different logos and name of the company seeing as coincidentally, the company is re-branded in between the releases. Notably however, the company is not credited to actually developing the game.[36]


Moved to Disney InteractiveEdit



  1. ^ a b Kohler, Chris (16 October 2012). "How Videogames Are Changing Disney". Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e Gibson, Nick (February 1, 2009). "Disney assault on games market: acquisitions and restructuring underpin rapid growth". Screen Digest. Archived from the original on August 11, 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  3. ^ Polsson, Ken. "July to December 1994". Chronology of the Walt Disney Company. Ken Polsson. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  4. ^ Fisher, Maxine (1988). Walt Disney. pp. A8.
  5. ^ The New York Times. December 6, 1994. pp. D5. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ CD-ROM Today. 3 (2): 26. 19 February 1995. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Windows Magazine. 6 (3): 42. March 1995. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Polsson, Ken. "1997". Chronology of the Walt Disney Company. Archived from the original on 25 December 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. source: CNet, Archived 2013-01-02 at
  9. ^ Page 114. Volume 121 (June 1999) Archived 2015-09-29 at the Wayback Machine. Nintendo Power. Accessed April 18, 2016.
  10. ^ Kawamoto, Dawn (19 April 2005). "Disney scoops up Avalanche, founds new studio". Archived from the original on 9 July 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Disney digs up Turok". 13 May 2005. Archived from the original on 17 December 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  12. ^ a b Sinclair, Brendan (28 September 2006). "Buena Vista Games to acquire Climax Racing". Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Disney to make Nintendo games". Los Angeles Times. Reuters. 8 November 2006. Archived from the original on 22 October 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  14. ^ Fixmer, Andy (April 25, 2007). "Disney to Drop Buena Vista Brand Name, People Say". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved August 8, 2007.
  15. ^ a b "Disney buys game developer Junction Point". Los Angeles Times. Bloomberg News. 13 July 2007. Archived from the original on 15 September 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  16. ^ "Disney's games and internet divisions merging" Archived 2008-06-06 at the Wayback Machine,, 2008.
  17. ^ a b c Sinclair, Brendan (January 29, 2009). "Disney layoffs hit Turok, Bolt studios". Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  18. ^ a b "Disney Interactive Studios Buys Chinese Gaming Studio Gamestar". CBS Pearl Research. February 11, 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  19. ^ "Disney Interactive Studios to Buy Wideload Games". Entertainment Close-up. September 9, 2009. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  20. ^ Orland, Kyle (22 November 2010). "Disney Interactive Exec Graham Hopper Leaving Company". Gamasutra. UBM plc. Archived from the original on 18 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  21. ^ Chmielewski, Dawn C.; Fritz, Ben (22 November 2010). "Longtime Disney video game chief Graham Hopper latest to exit interactive group". LA Times. Archived from the original on 19 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  22. ^ Barnes, Brooks (21 October 2012). "Disney, Struggling to Find Its Digital Footing, Overhauls". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  23. ^ Lang, Derrik J. (January 15, 2013). "Disney unveils own 'Skylanders'-like franchise". Business Week. AP. Archived from the original on 25 February 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  24. ^ "ELECTRONIC ARTS SELECTED FOR MULTI-YEAR AGREEMENT FOR THE FUTURE OF STAR WARS GAMING". Lucasfilm. Star Archived from the original on 7 May 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013. While EA studios will develop for the core Star Wars gaming audience, Disney Interactive will focus on delivering new Star Wars games for casual audiences on mobile, social, tablet, and online gaming platforms.
  25. ^ "The Walt Disney Company and EA Announce Multi-Year Star Wars Games Agreement". Fort Mill Times. 6 May 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  26. ^ a b Miller, Daniel (3 February 2014). "Disney Interactive expected to begin layoffs". LA Times. Archived from the original on 5 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  27. ^ "Propaganda Games shuttered". Archived from the original on 2012-11-18. Retrieved 2011-01-29.
  28. ^ a b Purchese, Robert (1 July 2011). "Split/Second dev Black Rock to close". Archived from the original on 23 December 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  29. ^ a b Lang, Derrik J. (29 January 2013). "Disney closing 'Epic Mickey' video game developer". Washington Times. AP. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
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  31. ^ Spangler, Todd (November 14, 2018). "Disney's Glendale Games Studio Transfers to Jam City, Which Plans to Create Game for 'Frozen 2'". Variety. Archived from the original on November 14, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  32. ^ "Lumines Plus". Metacritic. CBS Interactive Inc. 27 February 2007. Archived from the original on 23 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  33. ^ Davis, Ryan (28 November 2006). "Every Extend Extra Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive Inc. Archived from the original on 8 July 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  34. ^ "Meteos: Disney Magic". IGN. Ziff Davis, LLC. 27 February 2007. Archived from the original on 18 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  35. ^ McFerran, Damien (20 April 2007). "Meteos: Disney Magic Review (DS)". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 19 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  36. ^ Archived 2012-02-01 at WebCite -- © Disney. Developed by SQUARE ENIX.
  37. ^ Macy, Seth G. (May 10, 2016). "Disney Cancels Infinity, No Longer Self-Publishing Games". IGN. Archived from the original on April 5, 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2016.