Disney Offers Up IP For Healthy Living Projects

Disney Infinity

Disney is opening up its entire IP catalogue for game developers and tech companies who want to create healthy living projects.

The initiative – the Disney Healthy Living Digital Project – is a collaboration with not-for-profit organisation, Creative England, and is looking to commission a project “aimed at encouraging families to be more actively engaged with their own wellbeing”. That means you can submit games, apps, tools, video – basically it just needs to be digital – and can take advantage of smart tech and wearables (so virtual and augmented reality are possibilities as is stuff like fitness monitoring bands). You can use stories and characters from the Disney, Marvel and Star Wars universes to fulfil the brief.

Overall there’s £95,000 available – three £5,000 proof of concept grants and one £80,000 product development investment. That £80k would then be repaid through any revenue generated by the project. I’m not sure what would happen to further revenue – I didn’t see any mention in the FAQs or application guidelines. They do stipulate that all IP in the developed project will be owned exclusively by the Walt Disney Company.

I probably wouldn’t get one of the grants. That’s partly because I’m based in Greater London and it’s only for companies based elsewhere in England and partly because my idea was a virtual reality game where you play as Ariel the Little Mermaid. You have decided to start taking fish oil supplements and you must learn to navigate tricky moral and ethical dilemmas through arguments with Flounder as you swim about in the sea.

You might fare better.

Deadline for submissions is 20 April and there’s a bunch of application information over on Creative England’s site.

17 Comments

  1. Tei says:

    Fuck you Disney, and their copyright extensions attacks on public domain.

    • SigmaCAT says:

      I’m not sure I get why fuck them, or the point of the Disney strategy in this particular case. Care to lighten me up? :)

      • mechabuddha says:

        Disney has been a major player in the lobby to extend copyright duration, to the extent that the Copyright Term Extension Act was nicknamed the Mickey Mouse Protection Act. Because of this act, corporate copyrights can last up to ONE HUNDRED TWENTY YEARS. That’s why fuck Disney.

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        Hodge says:

        Link for the interested. Although I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘fuck Disney’, more ‘fuck the system which gives big corporations the option of effectively purchasing legislation in the first place’.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      Wow, so much Disney hate. Like any giant corporation Disney has made a great many boneheaded decisions, not least of which their undeniably harmful stance on copyright, but they have also created many wonderful things (link to artofdisney.canalblog.com – livlily.blogspot.com), and, oh you know, *invented* the art of character animation.*

      * anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know their animation history… they were not the first to make lines move (eg Gertie the dinosaur), but it was the animators at Disney who figured out how to do it properly, laying the foundation (the twelve principles) for everything animators are taught today.

      On the games side, we have Disney to thank for agreeing to re-release Grim Fandango, where Lucasarts kept it guarded by ‘top men’ for 17 years. So there’s that.

      • yazman says:

        “On the games side, we have Disney to thank for agreeing to re-release Grim Fandango, where Lucasarts kept it guarded by ‘top men’ for 17 years. So there’s that.”

        No, we don’t have Disney to thank for that. We have Doublefine to thank for that, given that they bought the rights from Disney in 2013. Disney didn’t have any part of the release of the GF remake.

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          Ninja Dodo says:

          Obviously Doublefine is chiefly responsible for the remaster and re-release of Grim, but as far as I am aware they were co-publishing with Disney. And even if they had bought the rights it would still be to Disney’s credit that they agreed to part with them in the first place which Lucasarts had always blankly refused.

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            Ninja Dodo says:

            Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I distinctly remember reading or hearing somewhere they had come to an agreement to release the game without actually buying the rights. Also doesn’t change the larger point of my post that Disney does both bad and good things.

  2. MrStones says:

    “will be owned exclusively by the Walt Disney Company” just like anything by the brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling or any of the folk tales that have been around centuries. Here’s hoping the EU copyright reform finally sorts some of this shite out.

    • Lanfranc says:

      Oh, come on. They don’t own any of that stuff, only their distinctive interpretation of it. You could write a Snow White story yourself right now without any problems at all – and you would own that distinctive interpretation of it as well, just as they do.

  3. Emeraude says:

    Outsourcing R&D to the public for market research purpose, eh ?

  4. SpinalJack says:

    Would be so applying for this if we weren’t already making a game.

  5. realjohnbaker1985 says:

    How about getting kids outside and AWAY from the computer and video game? The more I’m outside, the more I lose weight, plus skinnycorner.com helps me stay accountable.