Finnish startup to be integrated into interactive group
Disney has acquired Finnish startup Rocket Pack as the Mouse House refocuses its interactive group to produce games for social networks and mobile phones.Deal is said to be worth somewhere between $10 million and $20 million. Rocket Pack, based in Helsinki, is developing a gaming engine, using HTML5, that enables apps and games to be played across most digital platforms, from websites and older laptops to newer smartphones and tablets hitting the market, without requiring a plug-in like Flash. Company has already created its first Facebook game, “Warimals: Cats vs. Dogs.” Previously, games sold through Apple’s iTunes store that were created to play on the company’s devices had to be redesigned to work on other hardware. Rocket Pack will now be integrated into Disney Interactive Media Group, as part of the deal. Disney has increasingly vocalized its intent on targeting social networks with new titles, especially as more consumers turn to virtual currency to buy digital products, from items to outfit their characters to entire game downloads. Disney is looking to create its own versions of “Angry Birds” or “FarmVille” featuring its own stable of characters, from Mickey Mouse to Marvel’s superheroes. Rocket Pack would be ideal for Disney.com topper James Pitaro as he builds out “Togetherville,” a social network for elementary school kids that the Mouse House purchased last month.Disney’s buying spree kicked up last summer with the pick up of Playdom for $563 million and mobile app maker Tapulous.