One of Disney's
I believe video games will be an important piece of the ancillary puzzle. Anyone who has a Lizzie McGuire fan in the house knows how challenging it was to get her Nintendo Gameboy Advance game this past Christmas; same goes for the title based on That's So Raven. THQ
All of this leads me to the franchise Kingdom Hearts, which currently comprises two games on two separate platforms -- Sony's
Kingdom Hearts II is expected to be released later this year. On an anecdotal basis, I can tell you that kids love this game -- and when I say kids, I mean teenagers and up. I can also tell you that there is great anticipation for the next installment; this bodes well for brand promotion. I've never actually played either game, but I know that the world of Disney and its myriad colorful characters are on prominent display.
There's been a lot of talk about 2005 being the year of consolidation in the video game industry, and there is plenty of speculation on major purchases by large entities. I hope Disney isn't one of them; I don't want the company -- in which I own shares -- to be an acquirer, except for very small studios, which might be cheap and rife with intellectual capital. Other than that, Disney should focus on licensing and co-developing its games and strive to maximize monetary advances and royalty structures on the deals.
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