By signing off on the use of Pirates of the Caribbean in Sea of Thieves, Disney has shown a willingness to license its IP to third party game studios, but how far does that willingness extend?
Acting as Mojo’s vessel, IGN hooked the nearest Mouse representative that swam its way that they might pose that very question, bearing in mind that Disney's property now includes things like Guybrush and Purple Tentacle.
Speaking to IGN, SVP of Walt Disney Games Sean Shoptaw said that Disney was happy to work with "the best" developers, specifically those who came to them with interesting ideas or interpretations that hadn't yet been done. When asked what was meant by "the best" and if it included indie developers as well as big-budget, AAA titles, Shoptaw confirmed that all were welcome... and hinted that there may already be something along those lines in the works.
"Obviously we work with a lot of big AAA partners like Ubisoft, like Bethesda, like EA, and we'll continue to do that," he said. "But we are very open to quality regardless of size, right? So if they're strong indie that has a real passion and a vision for a story of ours, or a character or ours, or anything in our universe, we are all ears. I think that you'll see stuff coming out over time here that really will back that up. So yeah, it's not just about the big guys. The big guys, those are really important partners of ours, as I noted. But we're hoping to work with a broad set of partners across the world."
Luigi Priore, VP of Disney & Pixar Games, said that in some cases, a big AAA game might not be the best avenue to tell certain stories or focus on certain characters.
"An indie storyteller, a creative could work on another property within the Disney and Pixar collection of IP in a different way," Priore said. "Those smaller indie kind of experiences that are more personal... I think those are opportunities too."
What does this mean? Well, not necessarily anything, but it at least alludes to doors being open rather than closed. No need to give up on your dream of having Bobbin Threadbare cameo in your Candy Crush knockoff just yet.