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Why Disney Hasn't Made An Indiana Jones Video Game

Now I know that I would LOVE a Indiana Jones game to come it however not a single Indiana Jones video game has released since Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012. With Indiana Jones 5 approaching, it would be the perfect time for Disney to release another, but the Indiana Jones franchise has several compelling reasons to stay out of video games.

The most recent Indiana Jones video game was 2011's Indiana Jones Adventure World, a Zynga-developed Facebook game. Shortly before it, there were the Lego Indiana Jones games and Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings. Staff of Kings was originally planned for release on the PS3 and Xbox 360 with the Euphoria physics engine (which later appeared in games like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption), but it only ever launched for less powerful systems like the Nintendo DS, PSP, and PS2.

The most obvious reason Disney hasn't made a new Indiana Jones game is that, unlike Lucasfilm's Star Wars franchise, there hasn't been any official Indiana Jones media to release alongside a game in many years. The last Indiana Jones movie was 2008's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, while the Star Wars franchise was continually releasing new content (The Clone Wars TV series, for example) even before Disney took over and made new movies. Of course, this is entirely Disney's doing. It could have decided to make a new movie at any time - or even just make a game on its own and promote the heck out of it.

There's also the issue of cultural sensitivity. Many elements of the original Indiana Jones movies haven't aged well, with depictions of other cultures that blatantly disregard facts in favor of exoticism. The very idea of the Indiana Jones series - an American adventurer "recovering" artifacts from foreign countries - is one that inevitably leads to plenty of "white savior" moments, as well as the vilification of other cultures. Perhaps the reason for all the Indiana Jones 5 rewrites is that Disney is taking its time with the story, attempting to capture Indiana Jones' adventurous spirit without all the problematic overtones. The company would need to approach a video game with the same care.

Indiana Jones isn't without competition in the video game space, either, and that might be Disney's most compelling reason for staying quiet. Naughty Dog's Uncharted series, which will soon break into the film scene with Tom Holland's Uncharted movie, has taken much of what Indiana Jones fans love about the movies and turned it into a successful game franchise. The Tomb Raider reboot games have done the same. With Tomb Raider and Uncharted dominating the action-exploration genre for the past few years, it would have be difficult for Disney to produce anything capable of competing.

The most likely time for an Indiana Jones game announcement. At the 2020 DICE Summit, Disney said it wants developers to innovate with its classic properties. This does leave the door open for video game adaptations of many franchises, potentially including Indiana Jones. Disney is also already working with the perfect developer to make an Indiana Jones game, as Tomb Raider's Crystal Dynamics is nearing the launch of Marvel's Avengers. With Tomb Raider's developer on Indiana Jones, no Uncharted 5 in sight, and a new Indiana Jones movie on the horizon, Disney would be primed for success.

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