To Alter the Balance of Power in Video Games, Disney Calls on Marvel's Avengers

"Disney Infinity" ranked 10th among 2013’s top video games. Adding Marvel's Avengers could push the franchise to new heights.

Apr 22, 2014 at 7:15PM

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) is accelerating efforts to use acquired brands in different areas of its business. The latest move? Adding Marvel's Avengers to the Disney Infinity video game world. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the implications in the following video.

For those who don't know, Infinity in many ways resembles Skylanders. Real-world figurines you can buy either activate or enhance avatars in the game. According to NPD, Disney Infinity ranked as last year's 10th-best selling game.

A terrific performance, right? No doubt, especially when the list also includes Mojang's multiplatform megahit Minecraft and two titles in the Call of Duty franchise. Despite that, Disney Infinity 1.0 didn't earn enough to prevent the House of Mouse from cutting 700 jobs at Disney Interactive, the division responsible for producing branded video games. Version 2.0 will get Marvel's Avengers and could arrive as soon as August, according to reporting by GameSpot.

The addition comes as Disney is marketing its acquired brands more aggressively. Consider "Marvel Universe Live!," a traveling arena show in which audiences are thrust into the middle of the battle of good vs. evil, with Marvel heroes and villains as the centerpiece.

Over at Lucasfilm, Disney months ago began efforts to produce a new version of Star Wars: Battlefront to be released next year. The House of Mouse has also commissioned a new free-to-play combat game titled Star Wars: Attack Squadrons, which remains in beta as of this writing.

The message? Whether it's calling in an attack on the Death Star or assembling Marvel's Avengers, when it comes to playing around, Disney couldn't be more serious.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. What do you think of Disney's gaming efforts?  Will calling in Marvel's Avengers boost Infinity sales? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Disney stock at current prices.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Walt Disney at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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