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Gamers want to know: Why hasn't Disney Interactive produced a full version of "Wreck-It Ralph" 's Sugar Rush game yet?

Gamers want to know: Why hasn't Disney Interactive produced a full version of "Wreck-It Ralph" 's Sugar Rush game yet?

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When it comes to Disney and gaming, we here at JHM take the subjects seriously. Where entertainment and good business cross paths chances are that Disney will be at the forefront. "Iron Man 3," released by Marvel and Disney was one of the biggest films of 2013. It made $372 million in its first weekend including domestic and international ticket sales. Compare that to the weekend that Grand Theft Auto V had when it debuted. In just three days, Take-Two Interactive's crime action game made $1 billion. Those numbers are hard to ignore no matter what your stance is on gaming.

Copyright Rockstar Games. All rights reserved

According to the NPD research group gaming across all formats made about $21 billion in 2012. The trend continued through 2013 with the release of the Playstation 4 and Xbox One consoles. Disney Infinity has done very well for the company. In less than a year since its release it has sold over 3 million copies across the different platforms. Infinity looked to dethrone the Skylanders series by Activision, which has sold over 13 million copies since its debut in 2011. Both games featured a number of collectible mini figures which helped aggregate sales. The developers at Disney Interactive had the fortune of being able to tap into the vast library of Disney animated and live-action characters as well as those from television and Pixar as well.

Despite the seemingly endless demand for quality games Disney still remained behind the curve. Infinity was an answer to Skylanders but if the company really wanted to go after the most profitable titles they should have set their sights elsewhere. I am not talking about music-rhythm games, Fantasia Music Evolved still does not get audiences excited. Two years after the film "Wreck-it-Ralph" fans are still hoping to see a videogame based on the film. In particular fans are still holding out hope that the studio might yet develop a full version of the game Sugar Rush.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

The studio does have a version of Fix-it-Felix Jr., Hero's Duty and Sugar Rush Speedway available on the Disney Games website for free. In fact it has hosted the it for everyone to enjoy for years. Audiences only have to install a web plug-in to get the titles up and running at home: http://games.disney.com/wreck-it-ralph-sugar-rush. Of course die-hard videogame players want more than a web version of the games shown in the animated film. They want a full-fledged experience. Sugar Rush, the game featuring the "glitch" Vanellope von Schweetz was inspired by the Mario Kart series. It is easily one of the most desirable games that Disney Interactive has never released for the consoles.

When it comes to racing games there is no bigger selling franchise than Mario Kart by Nintendo. Since 1992 the Mario Kart series has sold over 97 million copies. The series became so popular that it was one of the very few that actually got an arcade version built. I'm talking about an entire cabinet with racing seats, speakers and a steering wheel.Elements from this cabinet could actually be seen in the cabinet created for Sugar Rush in the film. The Mario Kart arcade game was a reverse of the trend. Early console hits were usually adapted from arcade games and not the other way around. Nintendo had done so well with the franchise that rival studio Namco asked to have the iconic Pac Man appear as a crossover racer.

To put it into perspective Sony's Gran Turismo series has sold over 70 million copies. Since 1997 Sony has marketed their series as the "real driving simulator." It is a very well respected franchise due to the authenticity of recreating classic and modern cars for players to enjoy. Auto manufacturers actually go to the developers Polyphony to have concept cars created in their proprietary software to see how they would respond in real life. The next most popular franchise, Microsoft's Forza series, has sold over 17 million copies since 2005. The two series combined have still sold less copies than Mario Kart. At almost $50 a game one can only imagine how much money Nintendo actually made over the past two decades.

It is difficult to understand why Disney Interactive doesn't release more games in genres that audiences actually play. The characters featured in Wreck-it-Ralph, the levels and challenges highlighted in the film were taking elements from the best Kart racing games. The game players that saw the film could attest that this was a type of game that they would buy at the drop of a hat. Perhaps there might be some hope for a collaborative release somewhere down the line. The Wii U console has performed very poorly and Nintendo has changed their business strategy to make up for it. Previously the company steered clear of licensing their games to other platforms. Recently they decided to publish a few games for the iOS and distribute them through Apple's iTunes Store. With Apple and Disney being good friends perhaps there may yet be a chance for Nintendo and Disney Interactive to work a little closer and give fans a crossover worth remembering. Hey, a guy can dream can't he?

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  • It is odd that Disney decided to create a movie about video games and then fail to develop full-featured versions of those games.  Even the official "Fix-It Felix, Jr." game /doesn't actually match the gameplay seen in the film/.

  • Maybe the similarities btween Sugar Rush and the Mario Kart series are the issue, Noe - Nintendo may not have had much of an issue with a fictional game inspired by their IP and a basic version of that game offered as a free app, but a full-fledged coin-op or home game based on the concept might inspire worries of a lawsuit for copyright infrinegment.

  • You can ad my name to that list of buyers.  Disney missed an opportunity to release the game alongside the movie.

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