Following today's news that the Walt Disney Company has outright acquired Pixar Studios, the animated CG movie studio responsible for its biggest animation successes of the past few years, in an $7.4 billion all-stock transaction, the deal has raised some interesting questions regarding long-term Pixar video game rights.
Major publisher THQ Inc. has been Pixar's game licensor of choices of the past few years, and in August 2004, entered into an agreement with Pixar to develop games based on the movie studio's first four independently produced films, following the presumed severing of its distribution deal with Disney. An existing arrangement covered games based on Finding Nemo
, and The Incredibles
, and the new deal would cover the subsequent four films produced by Pixar, starting with Cars
It's believed that this deal is still valid, despite the change of circumstances, meaning that THQ will control the video game rights to the titles produced by Pixar in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, presuming that the studio releases one title per year. Previously, Buena Vista Games, the video game division of Disney, has acted as a liaison between Pixar and THQ, and will likely to do so in the future.