Things have not been going swimmingly at Ignition Entertainment of late. Since Indian entertainment conglomerate UTV's purchase of the UK publisher, Ignition has gone on to lay off hundreds of staffers and close down nearly all of its internal development teams, with the expressed purpose of solely focusing on publishing games developed by external studios.
Now that whole plan may be tossed asunder, as news comes (courtesy of Develop) that Disney has put in a bid for UTV. Disney is already the largest shareholder in UTV's various media operations, with a 50.4% stake in the company. Now, it's looking to pony up the $454 million necessary to simply own the company outright.
Disney's primary interest in UTV is, well, pretty much everything except its gaming division. UTV is extremely successful in India's film and television market, and is clearly interested in breaking off a bigger piece of that Bollywood action.
This marriage of convenience between two major media powers seemingly leaves Ignition as the unfortunate stepchild of a new daddy that previously stood accused of killing its own video gaming children. Disney has been making its own moves to excise "core gaming" studios like Black Rock and Propaganda in recent months, shifting its focus toward social/casual games, which puts Ignition in a rather deadly position. So it really is pretty much just the plot of The Stepfather. Either the 1986 or 2009 version. Your pick.
Coming on the heels of the news regarding the delay of Ignition's sole upcoming major console release, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, into August, this all does seem to put a bit of a dark cloud over both Ignition's future, and any potential push El Shaddai may have been set to receive. Given that game's Biblical (albeit non-canonical) leanings, if possible, Ignition may want to just get that game out on store shelves as soon as humanly possible. Disney does not have a particularly great track record of releasing products under its various media labels that garner even a hint of controversy.