Disney Interactive is attempting something rather bold with Epic Mickey, the publisher’s techno-fantasy reimagining of the iconic world of Mickey Mouse coming to the Nintendo Wii later this year. Just one look at the game is enough to tell you that Disney is determined to make a game that feels unique but that’s still grounded in a universe that’s familiar, and that’s not an easy thing to pull off. So to help guide them on their ambitious development road, Disney is looking to an unsurprising source for guidance.
"I think we've tried to learn from the things Nintendo does well," Interactive Studios executive vice-president and general manager Graham Hopper recently told Gamasutra. "One of the things that Nintendo does on their own platforms is they give their projects the time and appropriate resources to be successful, and they iterate until they get there. And I think we're doing the same with Epic Mickey, giving it the time and resources to be successful."
Using Nintendo’s development strategy as a model makes perfect sense for Disney, especially when it comes to a game like Epic Mickey, because, as Hopper explained, “If there’s a third-party game that I think has potential to be as successful on the Wii to Nintendo levels, I’d like to think it’s Disney Epic Mickey. We’re following the same playbook.”
Not to mention the fact that Nintendo was/is built upon the shoulders of a little known character name Mario, much in the same way that Disney owes itself to Mickey Mouse. Also, Disney has understandably seen more successful with its Wii and Nintendo DS titles, due largely to the demographic crossover between the two companies, so why not go one step farther and follow the example of the dominant force in gaming? Why not, indeed.