Akira Matsumoto will take over as vp/gm for Buena Vista Games, Asia Pacific, the global interactive entertainment arm of Disney Consumer Products on July 1, 2004. He replaces Shuji Utsumi, who will be leaving the company to pursue personal interests.
Matsumoto will lead the divisions business and drive videogame publishing and development in the region. He will also manage the company's relationships with Japan-based videogame companies such as Square-Enix, developers of the PlayStation 2 game KINGDOM HEARTS, and Capcom, developing TIM BURTON'S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS: OOGIE'S REVENGE videogame. In addition to growing business in Japan, he will also focus on growing the business in important markets such as Korea and China.
A 10-year Walt Disney Co. vet, Matsumoto was vp/gm Disney Consumer Products Hardlines business in Japan.
"Matsumoto-san is a strong team leader, a great business manager and an avid gamer, said today by Graham Hopper, svp/gm of Buena Vista Games Inc. I am confident that with his experience in business building and his excellent track record in developing and managing franchises, he will lead our videogame business in Asia to further success."
"We would like to thank Mr. Utsumi for making a very strong contribution over the years and we wish him well in his new endeavors," said Hopper.
Buena Vista Games is the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Co.'s Consumer Products business unit. The division publishes, markets and distributes a broad portfolio of PC and multi-platform videogames worldwide. The company also licenses properties and works directly with third-party interactive game publishers to bring products for all ages to market. Titles for Buena Vista Games fall under two publishing labels: Buena Vista Interactive, which publishes high-profile, multi-platform games based on creative content from the numerous businesses within Walt Disney, and Disney Interactive, which markets and distributes the company's interactive entertainment based on Disney-branded properties.