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Disney Acquires Junction Point

Disney Interactive Studios announces the acquisition of Junction Point Studios, the Austin, TX-based development house founded by industry luminary Warren Spector that's currently at work on an unannounced "next generation" project.:

BURBANK, Calif. — (July 12, 2007) — Disney Interactive Studios today announced that it has acquired Austin, Texas-based Junction Point Studios, a video game development studio led by industry luminary Warren Spector. Junction Point Studios will create new video game franchises and will also bring some of Disney’s most beloved franchises to next generation gaming platforms. The studio is currently working on a yet to be announced next-generation development project.

“Warren Spector’s unique talents as a leading creative force in the world of video games, his knowledge and passion for Disney, and his legacy of story telling and character development adds a unique creative dimension to our portfolio,” said Graham Hopper, general manager and executive vice president, Disney Interactive Studios. “Our shared visions on creativity, innovation and storytelling will allow us to touch individual players in ways never before possible.”

A lifelong Disney fan, Spector recognizes the opportunity to overlay Disney content and resources on top of exceptional game design to create unique experiences for players. Junction Point Studios’ creative team brings to Disney a powerhouse of gaming talent.

“I believe that the creative talents of our two companies and our shared ambition to bring distinctive, compelling experiences to gamers make this an ideal alliance,” said Warren Spector, president, Junction Point Studios. “We look forward to bringing exciting, innovative and entertaining new experiences to gamers and Disney fans alike.”

Junction Point has become the fifth studio in Disney Interactive Studios’ growing portfolio of development creative centers of excellence. As a talent hub for video game development, Austin adds another region to Disney’s internal development studio growth strategy.

Update/correction: Err, Warren Spector, not Sid Meier (yeesh!).

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23. Re: After Deus Ex 2..... Jul 13, 2007, 16:25 Icewind
 
Agreed. Spector hasn't made a good game since Deus Ex, so I'm not sure that getting gobbled up by Disney is going to hurt him any.

QFT

 
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22. Re: Uh oh Jul 13, 2007, 09:01 space captain
 
For those of you still fearing, consider this: the new Turok, complete with the brain bore, is being release under this brand. Disney is giving you buckets of dino blood. No mice.

actually, turok 360 is still under development, and still has a "rating pending" .. so its not exactly a done deal quite yet on the blood and gore, etc.

i will definately be surprised if disney publishes any game with an "M" rating.. not that it couldnt ever happen - but yeh, it would really surprise me

whats next? Grand Mickey Mouse Auto?

________________________
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21. Re: After Deus Ex 2..... Jul 13, 2007, 08:42 Parallax Abstraction
 
I'm assuming he was working on a project for Disney at the time because I can't imagine why they'd be interested in acquiring a startup studio that hasn't even announced any titles, much less released one. Don't forget that Disney Interactive also acquired Climax Racing a while back and I don't think it was just to crank out Disney Kart Racing. They might be trying to turn themselves into a full-blown publisher.

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Canada
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20. Re: No subject Jul 13, 2007, 08:03  Blue 
 
So was it founded by Warren Spector or Sid Meier?

Get some sleep Blue

No kidding. Sorry about that.
 
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Stephen "Blue" Heaslip
Blue's News Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, El Presidente for Life
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19. Re: After Deus Ex 2..... Jul 13, 2007, 05:39 Dreagon
 
Agreed. Spector hasn't made a good game since Deus Ex, so I'm not sure that getting gobbled up by Disney is going to hurt him any.  
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18. Disney fan? Jul 13, 2007, 05:36 rebuilder
 
"A lifelong Disney fan, Spector recognizes the opportunity to overlay Disney content and resources on top of exceptional game design to create unique experiences for players."

I sure can't think of a single piece of Disney content that I'd like to ever see again. Popular as their trash may be, Disney is in my view responsible to a large degree for how formulaic and flavourless cinema is these days, and by extension, for how imaginationless games are, since so many games just copy their visual design and dramatic structures from the cinema world. Disney has practically since the company was founded stood for standardized production and catering to the lowest common denominator. There's enough of that in the game industry already.

 
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17. After Deus Ex 2..... Jul 13, 2007, 04:32 Tainted
 
It will take a lot for Spector to redeem himself. Took me hours to get a stable framerate on that bloody game of his and I persevered for hours wishing it would suddenly become as good as the original Deus Ex.

Probably the game that most disappointed me... ever.

As for this disney connection, interesting...
 
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16. Re: Uh oh Jul 13, 2007, 03:58 Bludd
 
TRON (The Movie) was a surprise block buster...

No, it wasn't:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084827/business
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tron_%28film%29#Reception

A cult phenomenon, surely, but not a block buster by any means.

This comment was edited on Jul 13, 03:58.
 
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15. Re: No subject Jul 13, 2007, 01:37 Elf Shot The Food
 
A Disney-owned development studio is doing the new Turok game, so it's not like they only make Mickey and Goofy games.

Maybe Spector will remake Deus Ex with Disney characters.

This comment was edited on Jul 13, 01:37.
 
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14. Re: No subject Jul 13, 2007, 01:14 Ratty
 
im personally looking forward to the interviews warren spector will do in a day or two trying to convince his fanbase how this can possibly be a good thing.

I really don't think he has a fan base anymore ...

 
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13. Yup. Jul 13, 2007, 01:13 Acleacius
 
Just like when he was tring to convience how great Invisable Wars would be and then for months acting like it wasnt his fault.
Then after about 6 months we'll be treated to warren saying something like, "Well if I admit I was wrong, then you have to admit, it's becasue we were trying,something different."



Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language...they're not even real words as much as a succesion of violent images.
 
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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12. Re: Uh oh Jul 13, 2007, 01:06 Beamer
 
Once again, some of you are confused.

Simply put: If the publisher's labeled as "Disney Interactive" it's going to be a kiddie game.

Bob Iger isn't a fan of having multiple brand names. One of the first things he did was rename Buena Vista Games to Disney Interactive Studios. So there were no options, Disney HAS no other company that publishes video games, only this one.

The next to go was Touchstone Television. It's now ABC Television, again brand consolidation. Buena Vista Home Entertainment is now Walt Disney Home Entertainment.

Disney is consolidating down to Disney, ABC and ESPN. Touchstone and Buena Vista will likely be gone in the next three years.

So there were no options. It's Disney or it's nothing.





For those of you still fearing, consider this: the new Turok, complete with the brain bore, is being release under this brand. Disney is giving you buckets of dino blood. No mice.
 
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11. No subject Jul 13, 2007, 00:36 manic half
 
im personally looking forward to the interviews warren spector will do in a day or two trying to convince his fanbase how this can possibly be a good thing.

Deus Ex: Kingdom Hearts Wars

 
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10. No subject Jul 12, 2007, 23:54 Toebot
 
Spector's been pimping his 'next generation project' for years (and years). He's been doing interviews for just as long, NOT talking about it. Now his studio is being bought out by Disney? (Disney?) I think there is more to this story than the press release is letting on. But then again, it's been so long, I don't really care anymore.

 
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9. Re: Uh oh Jul 12, 2007, 23:48 Fifth
 
Disney has given us lots of things that aren't Disney. Touchstone Pictures was Disney, including such family fare as Pretty Woman, Ransom, Starship Troopers, Good Morning Vietnam, The Royal Tennenbaums and Rushmore.

There's the problem - those movies weren't directly released under a Disney brand but a different brand. Yes, it's owned by Disney, but the Disney company keeps it distanced from itself somewhat to maintain a "kid-friendly" image.

I imagine the Disney company would do the same thing as far as games go. Simply put: If the publisher's labeled as "Disney Interactive" it's going to be a kiddie game.

 
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8. Re: Uh oh Jul 12, 2007, 23:14 space captain
 
And who knows, maybe Disney will let him do whatever he wants to do.

then they'll hire Ron Jeremy and start up Disney Porn Studios Inc

you can bet your ass Disney wont let him produce anything higher than a "T" rating

________________________
music from space captain:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/errantways_music.htm
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/4/invisibleacropolis_music.htm
 
Go forth, and kill!
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7. Re: Uh oh Jul 12, 2007, 23:13 Beamer
 
Some of you are confused.

Disney has given us lots of things that aren't Disney. Touchstone Pictures was Disney, including such family fare as Pretty Woman, Ransom, Starship Troopers, Good Morning Vietnam, The Royal Tennenbaums and Rushmore. Disney gives us Scrubs, Lost and Grey's Anatomy. As far as games, Stunt Island!


It's not like Disney does things just for kids.
 
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6. Re: Uh oh Jul 12, 2007, 23:05 Creston
 
However... the thought of Warren Spector making "Mickey Mouse shit", turns my stomach, and seems destined to fail (Gaming-wise)

Warren isn't exactly tied down to the studio, though. I think that if he's forced to turn out "Mickey Mouse Shit", he'll just pack his bags and leave.

What surprises me is that he sold his new studio this quickly. Hadn't it been formed just a few months or so ago?

And who knows, maybe Disney will let him do whatever he wants to do.

Pixar Studios is owned by Disney, and they turn out some really great movies.

Creston

 
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5. Re: Uh oh Jul 12, 2007, 22:36 Rosco
 
Disney & Warren Spector?

This will not end well.
 
Consoles are schwag.
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4. Re: Uh oh Jul 12, 2007, 22:30 wtf_man
 
As a gigantic fan of Deus Ex and born-again believer in Spector's design principles, this is very disheartening news. It's hard to imagine how Disney won't squash the innovation I expect from Spector. There's no way a masterpiece like Deus Ex could have come from a Disney-owned studio... absolutely no way.

I agree and disagree.

Disney can put out some awesome stuff once in a great while... TRON (The Movie) was a surprise block buster... etc.

However... the thought of Warren Spector making "Mickey Mouse shit", turns my stomach, and seems destined to fail (Gaming-wise). But then again... if he makes games for little kiddies that are on kiosks in Disneyland... I guess that's a form of success. >Blech<

This comment was edited on Jul 12, 22:32.
 
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