Speculation has run rampant that one of the major media companies would gobble up a major player or one of the second-tier publishers in the video games industry. In fact, Rupert Murdoch
's News Corp. said in January it is "kicking the tires of pretty much all video games companies." Most movie studios would normally be content with licensing their film properties to publishers like THQ, Electronic Arts and Activision. Andy Mooney, head of Disney's consumer products division, has pointed out, however, that profit margins on video games have reached a point nearly three times the average feature film, piquing the interest of studios. Movie-based video games have fared much better of late both commercially and critically. For example, Activision's Spider-Man 2
sold more than 7 million copies worldwide in 2004. But taking a movie property and transforming it into an interactive experience hardly guarantees success. "There is a pressure on all of us to grow our business," Michael Lynton, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment told The New York Times. "It looks really attractive -- like many things -- on the surface."