If you’ve walked into a cinema lately, you’ve already felt the effects of Disney’s recent acquisitions. Most of the films that are now playing or coming soon are linked to Disney in some way, from their own in-house animated features to Star Wars and, of course, Marvel. Reports are coming in that a different type of company wishes to gather some shade under the Disney umbrella: Activision. Nick Licouris, a representative of Gerber Kawasaki Inc. who owns 90,000 shares of Activision valued at $4.3 million, thinks that Activision should sell itself to Disney. This notion was put up as a way to leverage Activision’s esports portfolio, in particular the Overwatch league, which Disney broadcasts via ESPN.
Should this deal actually come to pass, what this could mean is a loosening of some of the complicated rights issues that prevent classic comic book games from ever getting rereleased. If you recall, Activision was the publisher of nearly every Marvel game from 2000 to just a few years back. Games included in Activison’s catalog are Neversoft’s Spider-Man, the X-Men Legends franchise, both Marvel Ultimate Alliance games, Spider-Man 2 based off of the Sam Raimi film of the same name and Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions to name a few. All of these games have been pulled from digital store fronts because of expired licenses, and the only way to play them is by buying a physical copy. As the years go on, prices for some of these games will only go up. Titles like Deadpool and the pre-Nintendo Marvel Ultimate Alliance games showed up on the current generation of consoles, but they’re now gone again. You can still buy Deadpool on disc, but sadly not the MUA games as they were only ever released digitally.
Allowing classic Marvel video games to live again would be a way for the Marvel Games division to fill in some space between their big releases. As revealed last week, the first and second Spider-Man movie games are still in the top ten best selling superhero video games of all time. It can almost be assured that many would love to replay Spider-Man 2 on a current device, whether that’s a console or PC.
More as it develops.