Eric Johnson

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Disney Launches Videogame About Movie About Videogames

In advance of the movie’s nationwide release tomorrow, Disney has launched an iOS and Android game based on its new film “Wreck-It Ralph.”

The movie’s title character, an early-1980s arcade game villain, leaves his own story line to seek respect in other games. In turn, the mobile app lets players hop among multiple games inspired by the movie: Fix-It Felix Jr., the Donkey Kong-esque arcade game; Hero’s Duty, a top-down sci-fi shoot ’em up; and Sweet Climber, a Doodle Jump-like game that asks players to tilt their iPhones to help Ralph climb a tree.

Disney also plans to add new games from the movie as downloadable updates, starting with an old-school racing game, Turbo Time.

At a recent press event in San Francisco, Disney reps could not say yet whether Sugar Rush — the Mario Kart-esque 3-D racing game where much of “Wreck-It Ralph” takes place — would be one of the future downloads.

The mobile game underscores how, even as “Wreck-It Ralph” pays homage to the past 30 years of videogames, Disney Interactive has become a game-publishing power in its own right. With hits like Where’s My Water under its (mouse-eared) hat, it’ll be interesting to see what the studio does with LucasArts, the game-development subsidiary of Lucasfilm that makes an estimated $172 million per year in revenue.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald