Disney makes a big play in the mobile space

Disney hasn’t been a big force to date in the mobile gaming
space – but that’s about to change.

The company has acquired music rhythm game maker Tapulous,
makers of “Tap Tap Revolution” for an undisclosed sum. It’s a deal that’s not
dissimilar to the acquisition of Wideload Games last September in that it give
the company an individual who’s a leader in his segment of the industry.

In Wideload’s case, it was Alex Seropian (co-founder of
Bungie Studios). In Tapulous’ case, it’s Bart Decrem. The CEO of Tapulous, as
well as operating chief Andrew Lacy will join Disney’s mobile games group.

Tapulous has been an iPhone underdog success story for a
while now. Despite competition from MTV (whose “Rock Band” is also available on
the platform), its “Tap Tap” games have been phenomenally successful. The
company has 30 million users and is profitable. (The game software is free, but
users buy new songs to extend playtime.)

iPhones and mobile gaming have been a weak spot for Disney,
where it has failed to gain substantial traction. The company acknowledged this
just a few weeks ago at E3.

“It‘s an area that has been a little challenging for us,”
said Graham Hopper, executive vice president and general manager of Disney
Interactive Studios. “But I think its an area of attention for us. There’s a
lot of growth and opportunities there.”

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