Disney purchases Wizards of the Coast, announces Dungeons & Dragons theme park, Magic: The Gathering changes
The Burbank, California-based Walt Disney Company has purchased a controlling stake in game manufacturer Wizards of the Coast, according to an announcement today by Disney Chairman & CEO Bob Iger at Tokyo Disneyland. The Seattle, Washington-based WotC publishes several popular game franchises, including Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. Neither company, nor previous WotC owner Hasbro, discussed the terms of the buyout, which is believed to have totaled approximately $50 million.
Iger announced preparations to build a Dungeons & Dragons theme park, to be constructed adjacent to the Walt Disney World park in Orlando, Florida. To be called Disney’s Dungeons & Dragons Adventures Park, the new attraction will feature rides based on the game originally created by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974. Iger revealed a model of one of the first rides to be built, which will be called Drizzt’s Magical Bumper Car Castle.
The Disney CEO also discussed changes to WotC’s popular Magic: The Gathering collectible card game. Iger said that future editions of the game would not feature the established M:TG fantasy world and characters, but would be entirely Disney-branded, and feature characters from various Disney properties, from Mickey Mouse to Star Wars. Iger said that WotC will cease supporting previous M:TG editions in January 2014, and that card values for the previous editions are expected to plummet.
Iger said that Disney and WotC will soon announce an overhaul for the Pokémon game and anime franchise, which will involve new monsters based on Disney characters, as well as a live-action television series for the Disney Channel starring Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers as Ash Ketchum.