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Disney sells off Marvel Strike Force developer

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Cold Iron Studios, making an Alien shooter for consoles, will change hands again

Gamora, Groot and Captain America in Marvel Strike Force
Marvel Strike Force for iOS and Android.
Image: FoxNext Games

Disney is selling two studios it acquired when it bought 20th Century Fox, and their new owner then plans to sell off the one that is still developing an online shooter based on the Alien franchise.

Variety reported Wednesday that FoxNext Games, also known for launching the free-to-play mobile RPG Marvel Strike Force in 2018, is being sold to Scopely, another developer of mobile games. Scopely then said it will get rid of Cold Iron Studios, formed in 2015 by Cryptic Studios alumni (City of Heroes); FoxNext bought that company in early 2018 and put it in charge of an untitled Alien shooter for consoles and PC.

Scopely plans to divest from Cold Iron because Scopely wants to remain focused on mobile titles only, Variety reports. Marvel Strike Force made $150 million in microtransaction revenue during its first year of release, FoxNext said at the time. FoxNext is still working on “a massively multiplayer strategy game” based on the Avatar sci-fi franchise that Fox owned and Disney acquired.

Scopely, founded in 2011, is known for developing a slew of moneymaking licensed mobile titles, including Star Trek Fleet Command, Looney Tunes World of Mayhem, The Walking Dead: Road to Survival, and WWE Champions 2019. Disney retains ownership of the Alien and Avatar properties; development of the two games mentioned will continue under a licensing agreement.

Disney has long said it has no intention of being in the video game development business, going back to mid-2016, when the company abruptly canceled its Disney Infinity toys-to-life series, shut down Avalanche Studios, and dissolved its Disney Interactive Studios division. The company said at the time it planned to license out its franchises and characters for third-party development, rather than handle those projects internally.