Motion picture companies are exploiting the CD-ROM format to release interactive stories featuring footage from box office hits. The CD-ROM software contains not only the movie story, but puzzles, games and other activities aimed at children. One of the best selling products so far in this category has been ‘The Lion King,’ from Walt Disney. Other motion picture companies are developing products aimed at older audiences.
Playing this Christmas at a multimedia PC near you: CD-ROM spin-offs of box office hits.
Media and entertainment conglomerates have been scrambling to build subsidiaries in CD-ROM software development, and for many of these companies, popular movies are proving to be extremely viable – and profitable content.
While the concept of bringing Hollywood to the PC has aroused skepticism about consumer demand, as well as heated debates over what makes a CD-ROM movie truly interactive, the numbers at retail are generally positive for these titles.
Disney‘s Animated Story Book: The Lion King and the Aladdin Activity Center, released in early November, are the debut CD-ROM titles from Disney Software, (which, as of Dec. 5, is now Disney Interactive, a multimedia subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company).
The two tides have sold “incredibly well” since their release, according to Steve Fields, Disney’s senior vice president of multimedia. “Target, one of our primary retailers, has told us The Lion King is their best selling CD-ROM title ever,” he said. (Target declined comment.)