We’ve covered the gist of Disney chief executive Bob Iger’s on-stage interview yesterday at D9, but here’s the video of it for those who want to dig in more. As the owner of Playdom, Iger is arguably the highest-ranking executive in social gaming.
At least aside from Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, who was also supposed to speak at the conference but withdrew last week, shortly after organizer Kara Swisher broke the story about the company planning an IPO soon. The withdrawal, along with various recent reports, makes a near-term Zynga IPO look more probable than ever.
Anyway, here’s the transcript of Iger’s main comments about Playdom and gaming, in which he reaffirms Disney’s interest in the business. Note that some other parts of the interview, including his mentions of the focus on new Playdom intellectual property, as well as Disney’s marketing efforts on Facebook, didn’t make it from the raw conference footage into this more polished video.
We still view gaming as a growth business for us. We’ve made some mistakes, which we’ve admitted: some on the creative front, some on the strategic front. We were putting too many eggs in the console games basket, for instance, and we’ve seen tremendous diversity in terms of game-play from casual games online to obviously social games.
What Zynga has done is extraordinary. We took a five-month break to retool because we felt our game wasn’t good enough — sort of a pun — our games were not good enough creatively, and we had some issues with the technological infrastructure at Playdom that we wanted to improve — and we’ve done that.
And we’ve since released a game called Gardens of Time, which is a top 10 game on facebook. One which, unfortunately, I’ve gotten addicted to. I think we’re on the right path, I’m a big believer in the space. I think it’s a great place for Disney to be and I’m optimistic about us being there.
All Things D limits the size of video embeds, so you can find a larger version of the video here.