Disney seeks to develop mobile capabilities

06 July 2010

PALM BEACH: The Walt Disney Company, the entertainment group, is seeking to enhance its mobile capabilities, having purchased a start-up in the gaming industry and rolled out a range of new apps.

In a bid to exploit the channel's surging popularity, Disney has announced the takeover of Tapulous, which is based in Silicon Valley and is one of the fastest-growing mobile games developers.

Its flagship title, "Tap Tap Revenge", has been installed by more than 30% of iPhone and iPod Touch owners, and is considered to be one of the most successful gaming franchises currently available.

The move, the first such acquisition for Disney, gives it a significant head-start in its attempts to reach out to the estimated 100 million users of Apple's highly popular App Store.

More broadly, the corporation's latest acquisition will strengthen the Disney Interactive Media Group's mobile arm, which has already bought up development studios in China and the Czech Republic.

Elsewhere, the Disney–ABC Player app has been downloaded more than 850,000 times since the iPad was launched in April, with more than 4.5 million episodes having been played back on this device.

This app can also connect consumers directly to online retailers, allowing them to quickly purchase Disney movies on Blu-ray or DVD.

Bob Iger, Disney chief executive, has previously described the iPad is a potential "game-changer" for the media industry as a whole.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice has also become the first new Disney release to be offered via the firm's movies app, along with other titles already in cinemas.

"The Disney movie app provides fans with a dynamic and engaging experience," said Greg Brandeau, chief technology officer of Walt Disney Studios.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff