Disney Interactive Studios to acquire Wideload Games

MUMBAI: Disney Interactive Studios has agreed to acquire Wideload Games Inc., a Chicago-based producer and developer of original interactive entertainment.

As part of the agreement, Wideload Games founder and CEO Alexander Seropian will join Disney Interactive Studios in the newly created role of vice president of creative, leading the company’s global creative efforts. Seropian, who is relocating to Glendale, Calif., is renowned as the founder of Bungie Software and was among the creators of the Halo series. Seropian will report directly to Global Product Development senior vice president Jean-Marcel Nicolai, and be tasked with overseeing creative development across Disney Interactive Studios’ portfolio of video games.

"Wideload Games is among the premier small creative game development studios in the world. Wideload Games will be a great fit for our portfolio of internal studios, and Alex joining the global product development team provides the entire Disney game portfolio with a strong creative influence. Alex has built his reputation around the power of original thinking. In leading the studio that created Halo, he helped turn great storytelling, exceptional design and polished gameplay into the ‘killer app’ for Xbox. Alex’s leadership of our creative community will enhance our ability to be a magnet for the best talent in the industry and enable the company to take an even more significant role in developing industry leading products," said Disney Interactive Studios executive vice president and general manager Graham Hopper.

"Joining Disney is an ideal next step, both for our studio and me. At Wideload, we’ve conscientiously built a forward-looking approach to game development that borrows many techniques from the film industry. Now, Wideload will be a part of one of the largest, most respected entertainment companies in the world. I’m looking forward to Wideload’s continued success as a part of Disney and I’m eager to bring all my experience to the creative community at Disney Interactive Studios," Seropian said.

Wideload Games president Tom Kang will continue to lead the studio as studio director. As part of Disney Interactive Studios’ network of global internal development teams, Wideload Games will focus on creating new intellectual properties for Disney that target a broad audience. The studio, which will remain in its current Chicago location, is developing an unannounced original family console game scheduled for release in 2010 from Disney Interactive Studios.

Wideload’s focus will continue to be developing original video game properties using an innovative development approach that requires developing prototypes with small core creative teams and ramping up for product development with globally outsourced talent. To complement its console team and expand its portfolio of original intellectual properties, Wideload Games established Wideload Shorts in 2007 for the emerging online and handheld platforms. As part of Disney Interactive Studios, Wideload Shorts will continue to create original properties for casual, downloadable and mobile games.