Disney Planning Sale Of Fox Video Game Division
Disney is reportedly planning the sale of its game-focused business FoxNext, reinforcing its aim to exit game development and publishing entirely.
The business, founded two years ago, makes free-to-play mobile games based on entertainment properties, such as the hit Marvel Strike Force, which took in more than $150 million in its first year. FoxNext also has games in the works based on “Avatar” and “Aliens.”
Largely known for developing mobile titles such as Marvel Strike Force and Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow, FoxNext is led by president Salil Mehta, who formerly served as an exec at the Disney before moving to Fox in 2013. He wound up back at Disney this year when Disney’s $71.3 billion deal for the Fox assets was finalized.
The decision to sell the division comes as Disney has backed away from internal development of gaming titles. During an earnings call in February, Disney CEO Bob Iger made a rare concession in regards to the company’s past forays into the gaming industry. “We’re obviously mindful of the size of that business but over the years we’ve tried our hand at self-publishing … and we’ve found that we haven’t been particularly good at the self-publishing side,” he said, noting the company would be focusing on licensing its many marquee brands in the future rather than publishing its own titles.
The possible sale of FoxNext is consistent with Disney’s past attitude toward the games business, with the company shuttering Disney Infinity and its studio, Avalanche, back in 2016 as part of a move to exit games publishing. It has since preferred to license its properties out, though the games developed by FoxNext were one of its few remaining holdouts.