Walt Disney makes a mobile gaming acquisition

By purchasing Tapulous, Disney has access to more content, technology and users.

Mark Brohan

Walt Disney Co. wants a bigger share of the mobile gaming market and it’s counting on the acquisition of Tapulous Inc. to get there.

Disney, which owns and operates Disney Shopping Inc., No. 66 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, acquired Tapulous for an undisclosed amount on July 1.

Tapulous, which develops mobile gaming apps such as Tip Tap Revenge, a rhythmic music game that features popular music from artists such as Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, and Collage, a real-time collaborative photo sharing app, will become a part of the Walt Disney Internet Media Group. “Mobile gaming is seeing unprecedented growth and this is the right time to invest to strengthen our position in the mobile business,” says Walt Disney Internet Media Group president Steve Wadsworth. “In a short time, Tapulous was built into an accomplished mobile games developer that’s emerged as one of the most successful companies in the industry.”

Tapulous, which says more than 30 million users have downloaded its various gaming apps to iPhones and other handheld wireless devices, was developed in 2008 by Bart Decrem, an entrepreneur who helped launch the Firefox browser and McKinsey & Co. consultant Andrew Lacy. Both Decrem and Lacy will remain with the company and report to Wadsworth, Disney says.

Walt Disney, which reported an increase in interactive media sales of 20.2% to $155 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2010 ended April 3 from $129 million in the prior year, will use its acquisition of Tapulous to add onto to its growing mobile games business base, Disney says. Several recent mobile gaming apps, including Alice in Wonderland Lite, Fairies Fly Lite and JellyCar 2, have been downloaded by more than 1 million users, the company says.


mobile games, Tapulous, Walt Disney