We suppose the industry should thank Insomniac Games and Respawn Entertainment for their excellent work on Spider-Man and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which now has Disney encouraging original storytelling and reimagining of their existing IPs.
Now, licensing deals are restrictive by design - you're practically renting an existing universe. When talking about iconic franchises like Star Wars or Spider-Man, doubly so, but the wonderfully creative teams at Respawn and Insomniac made everyone happy - fans and non-fans alike.
Disney are well aware of this and their vice-president of games and interactive experiences Sean Shoptaw attended 2020 Dice Summit, where he gave industry professionals an update on the company's new approach to licensing policy.
"I'm here for one specific reason: to empower you to do really unique things with our [catalog]", he said, insisting Disney "want to tap into the power of creatives across the industry".
Shoptaw mentioned Marvel's Spider-Man and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order as the glowing examples of this, and the numbers don't lie. A lot was expected from Spider-Man, and Insomniac still somehow exceeded expectations, with 13 million copies sold up to date.
Respawn's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order managed to become the sixth best-selling title of 2019 despite launching in November. It did so well, in fact, that it almost washed away the bitter taste left by Star Wars: Battlefront 2, but that's just us - Shoptaw didn't touch upon this.
What he did highlight is the importance of original storytelling and "reimaging" of Disney's characters and settings, something both of the aforementioned have in abundance.
Disney recently expanded their IP library with 20th Century's Avatar and Bob's Burgers, and they invited devs to "come and play." Well, sorry, we're busy playing Star Wars Jedi, but we'll try to make it.
You can find Shoptaw's statements here .