Disney is handing over operations of “Star Wars: Commander” to game developer Zynga and giving them the rights to develop and publish as many as two new free-to-play mobile games based in the Star Wars universe, the companies announced Tuesday.
“The opportunity with Zynga is the latest step in our mobile games licensing strategy, which pairs Disney characters and stories with proven partners to create unique games for our fans,” Kyle Laughlin, senior vice president of games and interactive experiences at Disney, said in a prepared statement. “Zynga’s expertise in developing successful games and running live services makes them an ideal partner and we look forward to further extending the Star Wars universe through these new experiences.”
Under the multi-year licensing agreement with Disney, Zynga’s NaturalMotion studio will assume operation of the live service for “Star Wars: Commander.” The studio is also overseeing the development of future Zynga Star Wars mobile games.
“Star Wars is one of the most iconic franchises in the world and has engaged generations of fans for decades. As game makers and moviegoers, we’re huge fans of Star Wars and are excited to create new experiences for players that bring this beloved brand to life,” Frank Gibeau, Zynga CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to extending the reach of the Star Wars universe and developing a new mobile game that entertains players for years to come and has the potential to be a future forever franchise for Zynga.”
The deal gives Zynga the develop and publish a new mobile game, with the option for a second game.
NaturalMotion is a British mobile game developer is best known for “Backbreaker Football,” “CSR Racing,” and “Dawn of Titans.” Zynga purchased the company in 2014 for $527 million, the same year it stripped itself of 15 percent of its workforce. Zynga is best known for games like “Zynga Poker,” “Words With Friends 2,” and “CSR Racing 2.”