Monday, March 23, 2009

Is Disney Ditching Mobile Games? posted a story on Friday about (allegedly rampant) industry rumors that Disney (DIS) is in the process of either radically downsizing or eliminating its mobile games production initiatives. If true, this would represent a radical reversal in strategy considering their acquisitions of German dev/pub Living Mobile in 2005 and Chinese dev/pub Enorbus (for $20mil) 2 years ago. That being said, like all the major studios Disney is aggressively cutting costs and often those cuts are always felt most deeply in ancillary businesses like mobile, online and interactive. The mobile games unit, which is part of Disney Interactive Media Group, has focused on producing mobile games from Disney IP like the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, The Incredibles and Cars...but they've also licensed some 3rd party properties like Bomberman and Scarface (from Universal Pictures). They, along with Sony, have been the most consistently aggressive studios in the mobile games publishing space...all the others have made forays and ultimately resolved that licensing is the best approach. Personally I have always admired Disney's patience with and commitment to the mobile games space...I truly hope these rumors are false. Perhaps we'll all get more clarity on this situation out of GDC this week.

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