Fox Digital Entertainment
|Successor||Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products|
Fox Innovation Lab
|Founded||January 18, 2017|
|Parent||Disney Parks, Experiences and Products|
(The Walt Disney Company)
FoxNext, LLC is a video game, virtual reality and theme park unit of 20th Century Fox. Prior to Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox, it was operated under Twentieth Century Fox Film and the Fox Networks Group. It handles development and publishing of video games, virtual reality and augmented reality titles, as well as the development of 20th Century Fox's theme and amusement parks. The division's president is Salil Mehta, a former executive from NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company, who has been with Fox since 2013 who later returned to Disney after Disney acquired Fox in 2019.
Fox Innovation Lab was the source for the division's VR subdivision with its "The Martian VR Experience" 2016 released which was had a low review and highly discounted later. In January 2017 at CES, Fox Innovation Lab announced a "Planet of the Apes" VR experience with Imaginati Studio as producer.
Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products announced a series of Twentieth Century Fox World theme park in Asia in early to mid-2010s. Fox and Genting Malaysia Berhad agreed in 2013 to build a Twentieth Century Fox World theme park, the first such branded park. With Village Roadshow Theme Parks in 2014, Fox agreed to build a Fox World in South Korea. In November 2015, Fox and Al Ahli Holding Group agreed to build a 20th Century Fox World near Dubai in United Arab Emirates under an agreement that would allow Al Ahli to build a total of four Fox Worlds outside of the US.
Fox Interactive (later sold to Vivendi Universal Games in 2003, after taking over publishing rights in 2001, later dissolved in 2006) was 20th Century Fox's first video game division when it was founded in 1994 by former Time Warner Interactive executive Ted Hoff. And Fox Digital Entertainment was the second Fox video game division when it was founded in 2010, but it solely focused on making games for mobile devices.
FoxNext was formed by January 18, 2017 with the announcement of Salil Mehta as division president transferring from his prior post as president of content management for Twentieth Century Fox Film. The division president would answer to Chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, and Chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox Film, who at the time were Peter Rice and Stacey Snider, respectively. The two video gaming units responsible for The Simpsons: Tapped Out mobile game and the Alien: Isolation console/PC game would become a single unit under FoxNext. The division also gain the over site of the existing 20th Century Fox World theme park project under development as part of its location-based entertainment business transferred from Fox Consumer Products.
FoxNext on January 19, 2017 announced a VR slate with Chris Milk's and former Googler Aaron Koblin's Within VR company, which was founded in 2014 as VRSE with funding from Fox, Legendary Pictures and others. This slate, which would be available via the Within app, included another "Planet of the Apes", original works from Milk, Spike Jonze and Megan Ellison and Annapurna Pictures. On June 6, 2017, it acquired Aftershock Studios (formerly Kabam's Los Angeles and San Francisco studios) with Aftershock head Aaron Loeb becoming president of studios for FoxNext Games.
On June 1, 2017, FoxNext announced that veteran marketing executive James Finn has been named executive VP and head of marketing for FoxNext. FoxNext added Marc Zachary as FoxNext Destinations' senior vice president of business development.
On July 27, 2017, FoxNext Games announced that they were developing an action/RPG multiplayer mobile game in conjunction with Marvel Entertainment and Aftershock Studios on the Marvel Universe. The Marvel game is named Marvel Strike Force and was released on March 28, 2018, for Android and iOS Platforms.
FoxNext acquired in January 2018 Cold Iron Studios from Perfect World Entertainment games publisher. On April 26, 2018, FoxNext opened its first virtual-reality experience location-based, "Alien: Descent", at The Outlets at Orange mall in Orange County, California.
On 29 April 2018, the Dubai park was put on indefinite hold by the Al Ahli Group amid concerns that there was a "serious supply" of theme parks in Dubai. In late 2018 Genting Malaysia and FoxNext started legal actions against each other over 20th Century Fox World delays. The two parties settled out of court in July 2019.
FoxNext indicated on February 7, 2019 the opening of a development fund to assist indie developers form resources and support. Altered Matter's Etherborn game is the first to join FoxNext Games indie games portfolio.
FoxNext was one of the properties acquired by Disney upon acquisition of 20th Century Fox. In September 2019, Disney indicated it was looking to sell FoxNext; in the past Disney, led by CEO Bob Iger, has eliminated in-house video game development and relying on third-parties to develop games based on its IP, after shutting down Disney Interactive Studios back in 2016.
Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and Genting Malaysia Berhad agreed in 2013 to build a Twentieth Century Fox World theme park, the first such branded park. Genting is funding at $300 million the 25 acre park which would consist of 25 rides and attractions based on Fox films. 20th Century Fox issued a default notice in regards to its licensing agreement for the under construction 20th Century Fox World theme park in Malaysia by Genting Malaysia Bhd. In November 2018 Genting Malaysia filed suit in response and included soon to be parent The Walt Disney Company. The two parties settled out of court in July 2019 in which the Fox name would be dropped from the park while certain Fox properties would be available for Genting to finish the park with the addition of non-Fox properties.