Bungie founder Seropian tapped VP of creative
Disney Interactive Studios has acquired Wideload Games, which adds one of the videogame industry’s top stars to the Mouse House’s videogame division.Alexander Seropian, who founded Bungie Software (behind Microsoft’s successful “Halo” franchise) before launching Wideload in 2003, has been tapped to oversee creative development at Disney Interactive, as part of the purchase. The newly created VP post essentially puts Seropian in charge of overseeing the upcoming games that Disney will develop and publish. He reports to Jean-Marcel Nicolai, senior VP of global product development at Disney Interactive. “In leading the studio that created ‘Halo,’ (Seropian) helped turn great storytelling, exceptional design and polished gameplay into the killer app for Xbox,” said Graham Hopper, exec VP and general manager, Disney Interactive Studios. Bringing Seropian into the Mouse fold is part of an effort to “enable the company to take an even more significant role in developing industry leading products,” Hopper added. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the addition of Wideload should help Disney bolster its gaming division with new talent. Pact comes as Warner Bros. makes big buys to ramp up its internal videogame arm, having recently picked up Midway Games (the “Tomb Raider” and “Spy Hunter” franchises). Wideload Games prexy Tom Kang will continue to head up the Chicago-based company, with 25 staffers, as studio director. It will continue to create properties that target a broad audience; it is developing an unnamed family title that Disney Interactive will release to consoles next year. Company’s Wideload Shorts division will also continue to produce original downloadable content for mobile devices. Seropian had been founder and CEO of Wideload since 2003, and produced the games “Rebel Without a Pulse,” “Hail to the Chimp,” “Texas Cheat ‘Em” and “Cyclomite.” He began his vidgame career in 1991 as founder and CEO of Bungie, which Microsoft acquired in 2000 and “Halo” bowed a year later, exclusive to the Xbox. Company credits include the “Myth” and “Marathon” titles. “Joining Disney is an ideal next step, both for our studio and me,” Seropian said, noting that Wideload’s approach to game development “borrows many techniques from the film industry.”
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