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Disney investing a cool $100M in virtual worlds

Kyle Horner

Onling gaming sites Club Penguin and Webkinz have apparently been doing so well that Disney has decided to invest in a deluge of cute, adorable virtual worlds. They plan on creating up to ten (yeah that's right, we said ten) virtual worlds that will tie into different properties. We already know about the as-of-yet unnamed Cars game Disney is making, that's just the first of many. The brand new virtual world is Pixie's Hollow and this one is based on Tinker Bell. The game is being developed with creative input by the same people responsible for Disney's theme park rides. The game is scheduled for debut this summer, just in time to help build buzz for the upcoming Tinker Bell feature film in the fall. Considering that Disney is a $35.5 billion dollar company, these virtual worlds are definitely a small investment overall at $5 to $10 million each; at least in comparison to a big-budget MMO.

All in all, it would seem that Disney is rather serious about this method of entertainment and rightfully so. With plans to make ten games, an easy prediction is that we'll see plenty of new releases over the coming years. What isn't an easy prediction is guessing just how well this endeavor of theirs will work. Disney is only the latest company to join the likes of Mattel, Nickelodeon and Lego -- just to name a few -- looking for some of that pie. It should be interesting to see how this market expands over the next couple of years, now that it's starting to get crowded.

[Via Virtual Worlds News]

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