Disney to Buy Marvel

After escaping the Green Goblin and the Sandman for years, Spider-Man will soon be caught by a mere mouse — Mickey Mouse. In a $4 billion deal, Disney is acquiring 5,000 Marvel-branded characters and other associated properties. For the gaming industry, this might make Marvel licensing available only to the “big boys”, because Disney’s licensing division is notoriously harder for small companies to navigate without a Disney-vetted licensing agent or a stable of other successfully managed licenses in the game company’s portfolio. Still, as Marvel’s value as a licensor has gone up in recent years, the licensing fees may have already put Marvel out of the reach of many game companies anyway. The guys at Upper Deck renewed their license at just the right time. Feel free to comment with additional details or speculations. The full story is here.


  1. I’m pretty sure that was probably the final nail for it.

    Hang onto your HeroClix, Marvel HeroScape and Marvel Universe board game, folks, you won’t see their likes again anytime soon.

  2. I think this is now the second non-Disneyana comic book company that Disney owns. In 2004, Disney acquired CrossGen for $1 million. I once tried to get a license for CrossGen art (again, a bankrupt company with no products on the market at the time), and the Disney legal stuff was a huge obstacle. You had to have maintained multiple major licenses for several years just to apply. There was no human on the phone line — just a recorded message.

    James, I think we’ll see other products (obviously from Upper Deck), but only the big boys will now be able to even approach Marvel without going through an intermediary if Disney erects the same legal walls at Marvel that they have elsewhere.

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