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FoxNext

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FoxNext, LLC
Subsidiary
IndustryAmusement parks
Predecessors
FoundedJanuary 18, 2017; 3 years ago (2017-01-18)
Headquarters,
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
  • Salil Mehta (president)
  • James Finn (executive vice President, head of marketing)
OwnerThe Walt Disney Company
ParentDisney Parks, Experiences and Products

FoxNext, LLC is a virtual reality and theme park unit of 20th Century Fox, now known as 20th Century Studios. It was established in 2017 prior to Disney's acquisition of Fox and operates under 20th Century Studios and the Fox Networks Group. It handles the development and publishing of virtual reality and augmented reality titles, as well as the development of 20th Century Studios's theme and amusement parks. The division's president is Salil Mehta, a former executive from NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company, who has been with Fox since 2013 who later returned to Disney after Disney acquired Fox in 2019.[1] FoxNext formerly had a video games division, but that was sold to Scopely in January 2020.[2]

Background

Virtual Reality

Fox Innovation Lab was the source for the division's VR subdivision with its “The Martian VR Experience” 2016 released[3] which was had a low review and highly discounted later.[4] In January 2017 at CES, Fox Innovation Lab announced a “Planet of the Apes” VR experience with Imaginati Studio as producer.[3][5]

Theme Parks

Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products announced a series of Twentieth Century Fox World theme park in Asia in early to mid-2010s. Fox and Genting Malaysia Berhad agreed in 2013 to build a Twentieth Century Fox World theme park, the first such branded park.[6] With Village Roadshow Theme Parks in 2014, Fox agreed to build a Fox World in South Korea.[7] In November 2015, Fox and Al Ahli Holding Group agreed to build a 20th Century Fox World near Dubai in United Arab Emirates[8] under an agreement that would allow Al Ahli to build a total of four Fox Worlds outside of the US.[9]

Video Games

Fox Interactive (later sold to Vivendi Universal Games in 2003, after taking over publishing rights in 2001, later dissolved in 2006) was 20th Century Fox's first video game division when it was founded in 1994 by former Time Warner Interactive executive Ted Hoff. And Fox Digital Entertainment was the second Fox video game division when it was founded in 2010, but it solely focused on making games for mobile devices.

History

FoxNext was formed by January 18, 2017, with the announcement of Salil Mehta as division president transferring from his prior post as president of content management for Twentieth Century Fox Film. The division president would answer to Chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, and Chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox Film, who at the time were Peter Rice and Stacey Snider, respectively. The two video gaming units responsible for The Simpsons: Tapped Out mobile game, Fox Digital Entertainment, and the Alien: Isolation console/PC game would become a single unit under FoxNext. The division also gain the over site of the existing 20th Century Fox World theme park project under development as part of its location-based entertainment business[1] transferred from Fox Consumer Products.[6]

FoxNext on January 19, 2017 announced a VR slate with Chris Milk's and former Googler Aaron Koblin's Within VR company, which was founded in 2014 as VRSE with funding from Fox, Legendary Pictures and others. This slate, which would be available via the Within app, included another ”Planet of the Apes”, original works from Milk, Spike Jonze and Megan Ellison and Annapurna Pictures.[3] On June 6, 2017, it acquired Aftershock Studios (formerly Kabam's Los Angeles and San Francisco studios) with Aftershock head Aaron Loeb becoming president of studios for FoxNext Games.[10]

On June 1, 2017, FoxNext announced that veteran marketing executive James Finn has been named executive VP and head of marketing for FoxNext.[11] FoxNext added Marc Zachary as FoxNext Destinations' senior vice president of business development.[12]

On July 27, 2017, FoxNext Games announced that they were developing an action/RPG multiplayer mobile game, Marvel Strike Force, in conjunction with Marvel Entertainment and Aftershock Studios on the Marvel Universe.[13][14] Released on March 28, 2018, Marvel Strike Force brought in $150 million in revenue over its first year.[15]

FoxNext also published game by other studios including Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow (2017) and The X-Files: Deep State (2018).[15] The games division formed in March 2018 Fogbank Entertainment in San Francisco splitting them off from Aftershock Studios.[16]

FoxNext acquired in January 2018 Cold Iron Studios from Perfect World Entertainment games publisher.[17] On April 26, 2018, FoxNext opened its first virtual-reality experience location-based, “Alien: Descent”, at The Outlets at Orange mall in Orange County, California.[4]

On 29 April 2018, the Dubai park was put on indefinite hold by the Al Ahli Group amid concerns that there was a "serious supply" of theme parks in Dubai.[9] In late 2018 Genting Malaysia and FoxNext started legal actions against each other over 20th Century Fox World delays.[18] The two parties settled out of court in July 2019.[19]

FoxNext indicated on February 7, 2019, the opening of a development fund to assist indie developers with resources and support. Altered Matter's Etherborn game is the first to join FoxNext Games indie games portfolio.[20]

FoxNext was one of the properties acquired by The Walt Disney Company upon its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. In September 2019, Disney indicated it was looking to sell or shuttering parts of FoxNext. In the past Disney, led by CEO Bob Iger, has eliminated in-house video game development and relying on third-parties to develop games based on its IP, after shutting down Disney Interactive Studios back in 2016.[21] Disney sold the FoxNext Games division, which included FoxNext Games Los Angeles, Cold Iron Studios and Aftershock, to mobile game developer Scopely in January 2020 for an undisclosed amount; Scopely stated it later plans to divest itself of Cold Iron Studios as they develop games for consoles and personal computers. The deal includes most of the IP developed by the studios excluding properties specifically owned by Fox distinct from the Disney acquisition.[2][22] Fogbank Entertainment was shuttered later in January 2020.[16]

Assets

  • FoxNext VR Studio
  • FoxNext Destinations[23]

Former assets

  • FoxNext Games
    • FoxNext Games Los Angeles (January 2020; sold to Scopely)[2]
    • Aftershock (June 2017—January 2020;[23] sold to Scopely)[24]
    • Cold Iron Studios (January 2018[17]—January 2020; sold to Scopely)[2]
    • Fogbank Entertainment (March 2018—January 2020; closed by Disney)[16]

Theme Parks

Licensed Parks

Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and Genting Malaysia Berhad agreed in 2013 to build a Twentieth Century Fox World theme park, the first such branded park. Genting is funding at $300 million the 25 acre park which would consist of 25 rides and attractions based on Fox films.[6] 20th Century Fox issued a default notice in regards to its licensing agreement for the under construction 20th Century Fox World theme park in Malaysia by Genting Malaysia Bhd. In November 2018 Genting Malaysia filed suit in response and included soon to be parent The Walt Disney Company.[18] The two parties settled out of court in July 2019 in which the Fox name would be dropped from the park while certain Fox properties would be available for Genting to finish the park with the addition of non-Fox properties.[19] In May 2020, the Genting Group confirmed that the new name for the park would be called Genting SkyWorlds [25].

Parks on Hold

Cancelled theme parks

  • 20th Century Fox World (South Korea)

With Village Roadshow Theme Parks in 2014, Fox agreed to build a 75-acre Fox World in 700-acre Ungdong Entertainment Complex, Changwon City, South Korea. Village Roadshow would operate the park.[7] Fox may have back off from the Ungdong location due to the investigation into South Gyeongsang Governor Hong Joon-pyo. By May 16, 2015, Fox Global Location Based Entertainment was looking at building a theme park on Yeongjong Island, Incheon with Incheon Metropolitan Government as a potential investor.[26]

Virtual reality

  • “Crisis on the Planet of the Apes (April 3, 2018) game for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR; inherited from Fox Innovation Lab with Imaginati Studio as producer[27]
  • “Alien: Descent” (April 26, 2018—) location base experience at The Outlets, Orange mall, Orange County, California.[4]

Video games

  • Marvel Strike Force mobile game (March 2018) FoxNext Games LA [4]
  • Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow mobile game (June 29, 2017) TinyCo (Jam City), Groening and his Curiosity Co. and animation studio Rough Draft Studios[28]
  • The X-Files: Deep State mystery-investigation puzzle game (February 6, 2018) Estonia-based game studio Creative Mobile[29]
  • Alien: Blackout mobile game (January 2019) D3 Go!, Rival Games[30]
  • Storyscape - Fogbank Entertainment

References

  1. ^ a b McNary, Dave (January 18, 2017). "Fox Amps Up Immersive Business With FoxNext, Taps Salil Mehta". Variety. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Hayes, Dade (January 22, 2020). "Disney Sells FoxNext Games Los Angeles And Cold Iron Studios To Scopely". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Roettgers, Janko (January 19, 2017). "Fox's New VR Unit FoxNext Partners With Chris Milk's Within for 'Planet of the Apes' Experience". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Roettgers, Janko (May 3, 2018). "Fox's FoxNext Unit Makes Its Mark With VR, Mobile Games". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  5. ^ Roettgers, Janko (January 5, 2017). "'Planet of the Apes' Is Getting a Virtual Reality Experience". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Cripps, Karla (December 17, 2013). "Twentieth Century Fox announces plans for first theme park". CNN Travel. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Martin, Hugo (July 16, 2014). "20th Century Fox to build theme park in South Korea". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  8. ^ Martin, Hugo (3 November 2015). "20th Century Fox World set to open in Dubai in 2018". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 4 October 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  9. ^ a b Lawrence, Jeremy (29 April 2018). "Dubai's 20th Century Fox World theme park on hold, says CEO". Arabian Business. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  10. ^ Ng, David (June 6, 2017). "20th Century Fox expands gaming portfolio by acquiring Aftershock". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  11. ^ McNary, Dave (June 1, 2017). "Veteran Marketing Executive James Finn Tapped for FoxNext Post". Variety. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  12. ^ Roettgers, Janko (September 27, 2017). "FoxNext Hires Former Disney VP Marc Zachary to Lead Destination Biz". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  13. ^ Spangler, Todd (July 27, 2017). "Marvel Superheroes (and Villains) Coming to New Mobile Game From FoxNext". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  14. ^ Spangler, Todd (November 20, 2017). "'Marvel Strike Force' Mobile Fighting Game Release Date Set for 2018 (Video)". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  15. ^ a b Shanley, Patrick (March 7, 2019). "'Marvel Strike Force' Generates $150 Million in First Year". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  16. ^ a b c Takahashi, Dean (January 27, 2020). "Disney will close FoxNext's Fogbank Entertainment game studio". Venture Beat. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  17. ^ a b Spangler, Todd (January 17, 2018). "21st Century Fox's FoxNext Games Acquires Studio Developing 'Alien' Shooter Title". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  18. ^ a b Stempel, Jonathan (November 27, 2018). "Disney, Fox deny claims in $1 billion Malaysia theme park lawsuit". Reuters. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Frater, Patrick; Frater, Patrick (July 26, 2019). "Genting and Fox Settle Malaysian Theme Park Battle". Variety. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  20. ^ Gera, Emily (February 7, 2019). "20th Century Fox Signs 'Etherborn' to Newly Announced Indie Development Fund". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  21. ^ Valentine, Rebekah (September 10, 2019). "Disney reportedly planning sale of gaming division FoxNext". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  22. ^ Spangler, Todd (January 23, 2020). "Disney Sells FoxNext Games Unit to Scopely". Variety. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  23. ^ a b Spangler, Todd (June 6, 2017). "21st Century Fox's FoxNext Acquires Mobile Game Studio Group Developing 'Avatar' Title". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  24. ^ https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/amp/news/disney-sell-fox-video-game-division-scopely-1271987
  25. ^ "Genting Malaysia to rightsize workforce, management offered pay cut". New Straits Times. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  26. ^ Mo-Ran, Choi (May 16, 2015). "20th Century Fox may build theme park in Korea". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  27. ^ Roettgers, Janko (February 27, 2018). "'Planet of the Apes' VR Game Coming to Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR This April". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  28. ^ Spangler, Todd (June 29, 2017). "'Futurama' Free Mobile Game Launches With Original Cast — And the Hypnotoad". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  29. ^ Spangler, Todd (November 28, 2017). "'X-Files: Deep State' Alien-Invasion Mystery Game on Tap for February 2018 Release". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  30. ^ Crecente, Brian (January 7, 2019). "'Alien: Blackout' Is a Survival Horror Mobile Game Starring Amanda Ripley". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2019.

External links