Disney has always had a presence in video games. However, fewer titles are being released for kids and that needs to change. Here’s how.
Disney has always been a juggernaut in the world of film and animation, and Raya and the Last Dragon looks to continue the trend. However, as games continue to become more mature, Disney continues to remain absent from the medium. With good family-friendly adventure games becoming harder to find, Disney needs to reel in its younger audience by bringing great games to the medium.
When Disney Interactive Studios closed its doors in 2016, most of the company’s games were relegated to either mobile platforms or collaborative efforts. The most recent Disney entry for consoles was Kingdom Hearts III, which became one of the biggest games available at the time of its release. Unfortunately, Disney hasn’t released many movie tie-ins since the aughts, which is a shame.
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Movie tie-ins were always a surefire way to bring in younger gamers, so it’s a surprise films like Moana, Wreck-It Ralph and Raya and the Last Dragon don’t have video game adaptations. Action-adventure is continuing to grow in popularity, but it’s leaving younger players in the dust. Games like Disney Infinity used to bring an exciting, interactive experience before they were forced to shut down with nothing to take their place.
Tie-ins offer a great way for younger fans to get into more difficult genres. Those too young to play Devil May Cry may love a Wreck-It Ralph beat ’em up. Players keep the industry alive, and games are becoming much more complex. However, if Disney has the opportunity to use some of its greatest names to ease its audience into new genres, it would then offer families a safer alternative.
Movie tie-ins don’t have to be simplistic or unchallenging. Characters like Spyro the Dragon offer fun and childlike adventure with difficult challenges. Even adults have to look up ways to beat the levels of some of these games. For example, a Moana game could feature intricate water puzzles that must be solved using a touchpad or stick to guide the water.
There is a unique freedom that Disney games used to have with its games. Every tie-in to a new film would tell the main story and explain elements that made the source material feel more fleshed out. Should the company return to games, a next-gen exploration into some of its most beloved properties would undoubtedly attract new players, young and old.
Disney is no stranger to returning to old properties. Applying that school of thought to video games would open many doors for fans. Movie tie-ins would attract young players who don’t know a lot about video games and perhaps help bring families together. Kids are the future of gaming, and as video games become more mature, Disney can and should bring them back to the medium.
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