Bill Roper Joins Disney Interactive Media Group
JULY 21, 2011 • Bill Roper is moving onto Disney Interactive Media Group as vice president responsible for the Marvel Games franchise. Roper was most recently with Cryptic Studios, having initially gained fame with Blizzard Entertainment before going on to form the now defunct Flagship Studios. In related news, the Walt Disney Co. intends to acquire complete ownership over India’s UTV Software Communications Ltd., the media company best known for creating and distributing Film, TV and video game content. Disney already owns 50.4%, and expects to pay 20.1 billion rupees ($454 million) for the remaining shares.
Impact: Over the years it has been an open question how serious Disney has been about the games business. It took a while for many motion picture studios to understand that movie IP on its own does not drive great game content, or profitable game publishing operations. Warner Bros., however, has figured out a winning strategy, and we believe Disney is not far behind. The Marvel franchises will be proving point, which is why seeing a tested veteran like Roper brought in to shepherd this IP is encouraging. Another test will be to see how Disney will integrate the fledgling game development arms of UTV, both in India and the U.S.