Disney held its Q1 FY08 earnings call yesterday, and, while there was certainly much more discussed, President and Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Iger came back several times to virtual worlds. Disney was already making big plays in the space, but it picked up steam considerably when the acquired Club Penguin last summer, going on to announce that it would develop a world for Cars based on its existing infrastructures and that it would then invest up to $100 million in new worlds. You can listen to the whole webcast here, but hit the jump for the virtual world specifics. When asked about potential franchises, Iger noted that Cars was the biggest opportunity in some time. It has gone on to sell more merchandise currently than it did during the opening year. Part of that, Iger says, is hitting the right pattern for play across toys, video games, and attractions. Interestingly, he doesn’t mention real-world theme park tie-ins until after virtual worlds…
Virtual Worlds News: Disney’s Earnings Call: You Have to Think about Virtual Worlds
Go head and click the link to read exactly what Iger says. The only other thing I wanted to really point out about this Virtual World News article is:
Part of that may simply be that it’s cheaper to invest in a virtual world than it is to design, build, staff, and promote a physical attraction, but when Iger was later asked about how investors should conceive of new franchises like Cars and Hannah Montanna, he noted that video games are becoming more and more important to younger audiences and that it’s crucial to start thinking of franchises in terms of new opportunities–like virtual worlds.
I’ve shared enough of mine lately… anyone have any thoughts regarding Disney, Big Franchise (and their VW “eye of mordor”), Brands, and Youth?
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Tags: brands, marketing, youth, licensing, disney, parents, virtual worlds, social networking, children, toys, products