Disney Shifts to Licensing for Mobile Games

Disney’s move to shift some mobile game development to Jam City, marks yet another return to licensing third-party developers. Jam City takes over the operations of Disney’s Glendale Games Studio and the development of the Disney “Emoji Blitz” title, capped a transition that also has included Zynga being licensed for Disney/Pixar games. Jam City also will work on a title

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Executives

Debra Restler promoted from VP to SVP Business Development and Marketing at Beanstalk … William Ernest, ex-Disney, named CEO of Saudi Entertainment Ventures, the former Saudi Development and Investment Entertainment Co. that is charged with building entertainment business in Saudi Arabia… Changes at Coty: CEO Camillo Pane departs, replaced by Pierre Laubies, formerly  of coffee maker Jacobs Douwe Egberts;  Chairman

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Revamped GameWorks Emphasizing eSports, Licensed Games

Restaurant/arcade operator GameWorks is revamping its seven locations with an emphasis on eSports and licensed game machines, CEO Philip Kaplan told us this week at the IAPPA Attractions Expo in Orlando. The 22-year-old chain, which peaked with 28 U.S. locations and ownership that included Sega and DreamWorks, has installed 2,000-sq. ft. eSports lounges at locations in Denver, Seattle and Las

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 Feld Entertainment Settles Trademark Suit with Kid Rock

Feld Entertainment settled its trademark infringement suit with rock star Kid Rock over Rock’s use of the tagline “The Greatest Show on Earth” to promote his tour earlier this year. Details of the settlement weren’t released, but a payment was made to Feld, a Feld spokeswoman said. Feld, which purchased Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (and its trademarks)

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Videogames Making a Play for Theme Parks

Superheroes, villains and other film-based characters have long had a home in theme parks, and now videogame properties also are taking up residence, Id Software’s Jeffrey Senita said during a presentation at the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando. For example, Electronic Arts subsidiary Bioware’s “Mass Effect” was licensed for a ride that opened in 2016 at Cedar Fair Entertainment’s California’s

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Licensing Expands Reach in Theme Parks

While licensing has a long history in major theme parks, it’s being deployed in increasing numbers by smaller regional venues, family entertainment centers and escape rooms who are competing in an increasingly crowded entertainment market, amusement park executives told us at the IAPPA Attractions Expo in Orlando. Although the industry traditionally swings between focusing on licensed and non-licensed rides and

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With Higher Profile Via Streaming Services, Anime Earning A Spot at Mass

With anime taking hold at mass merchants, characters and stories that once were relegated to specialty and niche distribution is moving into the mainstream. The shifting fortunes of anime are being driven by the increasing availability of content through streaming services, TV and mobile devices and the sheer volume that is being produced. For example, Ellation’s Crunchyroll streaming service has

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Aardman Founders Selling 75% To Employees

Aardman Animations’ founders are selling a 75% stake to their 140 employees in an effort to maintain the company’s independence. Peter Lord and David Sproxton, will control the remaining 25% of the company. Sproxton will remain managing director while the company seeks a replacement during the next year. Lord will remain creative director for up to five years, but a new

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New Iconix CEO Seeking ‘Global Voice’ for Brands

Iconix Brand Group is revamping its brand strategy with plans to develop a “global voice” for them that stretches across markets and regions, CEO Robert Galvin said as the company released Q3 earnings. Galvin, speaking to analysts and investors for the first time since being hired as CEO this fall, stressed the need for “global collaboration” in developing brands that

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Funko Expanding Distribution, Adds Footlocker

Funko is expanding distribution, landing an order at Footlocker and bolstered its presence at Walmart, CEO Brian Mariotti said as the company released Q3 earnings. The company’s Pop! vinyl figures are part of a new collectibles display at Footlocker that is being expanded to 60 locations and represents the chain’s first venture into toys, Mariotti said. Footlocker launched the displays

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