Disney’s Epic Mickey video game sells 1.3 million copies in first month


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Walt Disney Co.’s gambit of placing one of its most valuable characters at the center of a dark video game epic has reaped dividends.

Epic Mickey ranked among the top-selling console games in December, according to figures released by the NPD Group. Disney sold 1.3 million units, said people familiar with the data.


Breaking the 1-million unit barrier is significant, given that Epic Mickey was limited to a single video game system, the Nintendo Wii. And that console has proven challenging for independent game developers, who are increasingly gravitating to more powerful systems that are more popular among young, male gamers -- Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

The sales appear to validate Disney’s strategy of handing the project to veteran developer Warren Spector, who’s best known for games such as Deux Ex and Thief: Deadly Shadows, which weave intricate plots that follow multiple narative paths. His stewardship gave the project credibility among teenagers and adults who might otherwise avoid a title featuring Disney’s lovable corporate icon, Mickey Mouse.

A spokesperson for the video game group did not return calls seeking comment.

Disney’s success with its console game comes as the company is deepening its investment in emerging segments of the business, including games played on Facebook and other online social networks. Six months ago, the company acquired Playdom Inc.for $563 million -- and later installed its chief executive, John Pleasants, as co-president of Disney Interactive Media Group.

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski


Disney looks for bright future in dark realm