Disney deal aims to tap apps market - Mobile World Live

Disney deal aims to tap apps market

01 SEP 2010

Disney has expanded its mobile presence with the acquisition of Tapulous, a Silicon Valley start-up that makes music games for Apple’s App Store. The deal was carried out by Disney’s Interactive Media Group (DIMG) and will see Bart Decrem and Andrew Lacy, founders of Tapulous, join Disney to help manage its mobile games division. “Mobile gaming is seeing unprecedented growth and this is the right time to invest to strengthen our position in the mobile business,” said DIMG president Steve Wadsworth, without disclosing the value of the deal. Founded in 2008, Tapulous claims that its flagship title Tap Tap Revenge has been installed by more than 30 percent of iPhone/iPod touch users and remains one of the most successful gaming franchises on the iPhone platform.

The acquisition signals a deeper dive by Disney into the mobile and social game industry, following the failure of an earlier MVNO launch in the US. In 2008 it launched a Disney-branded mobile phone service in Japan in partnership with operator SoftBank that is still growing. In June this year, Disney invested in Playdom, an online game company that makes popular games for the iPhone and Facebook, including the game Mobsters. Disney already has a number of popular games in Apple’s App Store, including JellyCar 2, which it calls its most successful paid-for game to date.

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