If there’s anything that piques my interest as much as DIsney, it would have to be video games. Some of my earliest memories of sitting in front of a television involve either watching The Disney Afternoon or holding an NES controller.
Actually, those two interests often coincided when I played games like Mickey Mousecepade, Adventures in the Magic Kingdom, or Duck Tales. I have very fond memories playing Disney games back then.
Since those days, the gaming industry has only grown larger and larger. But Disney’s presence in that industry has been dwindling over the past few years. Since the demise of Disney Infinity, the new approach has obviously been to license out their properties to other game studios (as we’ve seen with Star Wars and Marvel titles). They have flooded the smartphone market with a variety of titles, but does anyone really play those for more than a week before they forget about them?
In the PC and console arena, this seems like such a missed opportunity for a company that has such a huge portfolio of intellectual property (IP). I don’t really want to see the days of a mediocre movie tie-in game for every cinematic release again, but I do hope for Disney to find creative ways to incorporate some of their IPs into new games.
Remember Epic Mickey? That’s what I want to see again. While it had some gameplay issues that held it back, it was undeniably a creative way to make a new Mickey game. There are plenty of opportunities to make that happen again, with a number of different characters.
And so, I’ve come up with three games I want to see. Mr. Iger, if you’re reading this (and, come on, it’s All About the Mouse…you need to read it!), consider these freebies. I’m not asking for royalties, only for some great games in return. For good measure, I’ll throw in some studios that would fit well with each game. You’ll just have to make the money stuff work. Easy!
Indiana Jones Action-Adventure Game from Naughty Dog
Some of the biggest titles on Sony’s PlayStation consoles in the last two generations have come from the Uncharted series of games from developer Naughty Dog. They are a wonderful cinematic experience, telling the story of treasure hunter Nathan Drake.
As it stands already, Uncharted has some of that Indy-esque feel. I’m just asking to take it the rest of the way. Let’s get the early 1900s feel, let’s get the music, let’s get the characters. I would love to take control of Indy, and go on a Drake-style adventure looking for that next big treasure.
The Indiana Jones franchise has some video game title associated with its name, but it’s been too long. With a new entry in the film series on the horizon, maybe it’s time for a great new game as well.
WDW Quest: Magical Racing Tour 2 from Sumo Digital
This past April, Nintendo proved that go-kart racers are alive and well with their updated release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Disney has a bit of history with that genre on their own hands.
Way back in 2000, a game called Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour came out on PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast, Game Boy, and PC. It featured a couple of familiar Disney characters, and about a dozen tracks inspired by attractions around Walt Disney World. I think a respite of nearly 20 years is plenty long enough.
Sumo Digital might be the perfect fit for this racing game. They have experience with racing games in the past, and they actually worked with Disney on the Split/Second release for the PlayStation Portable. If you’re not sure whether they could pull off the charm and character required for a game in the Disney realm, I encourage you to take a look at their work on Snake Pass and Little Big Planet.
The bottom line here is that I would love the opportunity to see some new tracks inspired by locations all across Walt Disney World, each in crisp, clean high definition. It’s still fun to go back to this game once in a while, and an updated version of that concept would get my motor running.
TRON Open-World RPG from Bethesda
For films influenced so heavily around the idea of video games, TRON has an embarrassingly weak representation of actual video games. Let’s fix that. And I don’t want silly little gimmick games like light cycle racer or an auto-running smartphone game, I want the full thing.
So imagine this: you start up the new TRON game you just bought, choose the type of program you’ll be and what your abilities will be, what you’ll look like and what color your suit will glow, and then you’re dropped into the Grid. It’s up to you and your bit to navigate the rough terrain, learn new functions, and either save or rule the Grid.
I can’t think of a better studio to hand this game to than Bethesda. Games like Fallout and Skyrim have become synonymous with this style of game. I believe they would embrace the art style and mood that makes TRON unique, and deliver something truly compelling. Sprinkle in the fact that Bethesda has worked with Disney on a few Pirates of the Caribbean games, and we might be on to something here…or at least dreaming a little deeper!
Most likely, this wish list stays a wish list. The point here is really that Disney has so many opportunities to make a splash in the gaming industry. The amount of characters and properties they can tap into is unequaled across any other studio in entertainment.
My hope is simply that we get more Disney games. Star Wars and Marvel games will come; there’s no doubt about that. I just hope that some of the other properties in their portfolio get some love here and there. And, if lightning strikes and I get any version of those three games above, that would be icing on the cake.
If you enjoyed this blog, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@thegoz85) and on my personal blog (https://adamgoswick.com/blog) where I do a lot of gaming talk. I’m also on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, and I’d love to play a game or two with any of the All About the Mouseketeers!