Disney Interactive taps Bungie founder as creative boss

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Disney has hired Bungie Software founder Alex Seropian to oversee creative development across the company's own video game development teams, according to CNBC.com.

Seropian joins video game designer Warren Spector, whose resume includes the legendary cyberpunk game Deus Ex. Spector joined Disney Interactive two years ago and is working on an as-yet-unreleased console game, according to reports.

Disney Interactive Studios produces an assembly line of video game and computer game products based off its popular media properties—everything from Hannah Montana to games based on Pixar properties. The company hasn't struck it big with blockbuster video games, however. Disney Interactive Studios general manager Graham Hopper is clearly hoping to change that.

Hopper said that Seropian's hiring is an example of where his business unit is "trying to be a magnet in this industry for talent," similarly to how Disney operates in other parts of the entertainment business. The company is constantly expanding its reach: In late August Disney announced the acquisition of Marvel Entertainment, the comic book publisher turned movie studio responsible for Iron Man, Spider-Man, and many other hit franchises.

Seropian co-founded Bungie with Jason Jones in 1991 when the two were still college students at the University of Chicago. The company established itself as a premier developer of original video games for the Macintosh platform, producing the Marathon series of first-person shooters and the Myth series of real-time strategy games. In 2000, Bungie was acquired by Microsoft, which repurposed Bungie's then-in-development first person shooter Halo as an exclusive for the then-nascent Xbox video game console.

Seropian founded another independent game developer, Wideload Studios, in 2004 after leaving Bungie. Wideload is the developer of 2005's Stubbs the Zombie in "Rebel Without a Pulse", a Halo engine-based 3D action game dripping with dark humor, published for Mac, PC and Xbox by Aspyr Media. Since then, Wideload has focused its attention on the development of console games.

Bungie has since spun off from Microsoft, though the company continues to develop products for the Xbox 360 video game system.

As part of the deal, Disney Interactive Studios has acquired Wideload. The details of the acquisition were not made public.

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