Prague, Monday,19th November– The Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) is extending its global mobile games business by increasing the size of its development studio in Prague. The studio is to become WDIG’s largest European location for the global development of mobile games and supports The Walt Disney Company’s growth strategy of leveraging technology to create entertainment content for global distribution.
The facility, which is being renamed the Disney Mobile Games Studio, will officially open in its new location today. Cindy Rose, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Walt Disney Internet Group, Europe, Middle East&Africa:“The mobile gaming market is developing at a rapid pace. With the strength of Disney’s brand, the depth of our content offering and our mobile gaming expertise, we feel that we are well positioned to capitalise on the growth potential of this sector across the EMEA region.”
The decision to invest in mobile game development in Prague is part of WDIG’s strategy to extend its mobile games business across the region and the world. An important factor in the decision to expand the studio in Prague was the fact that there is a large pool of talented young game developers in the country. Jiri Rosenkranz, Managing Director of Disney Mobile Games Studio, s.r.o.:“Our team specialises in what we call‘end-to-end development’ and works on the entire creative process - from conception to the finished game which typically runs on over 400 different handsets. For young programmers, this provides an exciting career development opportunity. In the Czech Republic, there is a wealth of indigenous programming expertise, which combined with our long-standing Czech animation tradition, provides the ideal foundations for developing high-quality mobile games.”
Recent industry research revealed that the mobile gaming industry is a developing market with strong growth potential as mobile devices become the primary electronic interface for consumers. Handsets are increasingly attractive for gamers as larger screens and new generation platforms enable more complex and better-quality gameplay. The global penetration of mobile gamers is expected to increase rapidly from 2006 to 2010. The mobile gaming industry is expected to reach USD 8.4bn in 2010, compared to 2.1bn in 2006.
WDIG is already one of the leading providers of mobile content today and has game development centres in four locations worldwide: Los Angeles, Tokyo, Prague and Beijing. Disney began operations in Prague with the acquisition of Living Mobile in 2005. Living Mobile, which is headquartered in Munich, had a game development studio based in Prague. As a result of its investment in game development, Disney plans to increase the workforce in Prague by the fall of 2008. In the Czech Republic, Disney cooperates with Telefonica 02, T-Mobile and Vodafone and is among the leading providers of mobile games.
About Walt Disney Internet Group
The Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) offers a compelling mix of interactive entertainment and informational content and services for Internet and mobile devices for audiences around the world. WDIG is both a developer of unique new media experiences specifically designed for Internet and mobile media and a developer of new platforms for distributing content selected from broad, existing entertainment divisions and libraries of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS). With a portfolio of products and services designed with quality and guest safety in mind, WDIG’s integration of Disney’s unmatched breadth of content with a best-practices approach to Internet and mobile technology drives multiple revenue streams from premium content offerings, advertising and ecommerce. WDIG’s suite of properties includes Disney.com, Family.com, Movies.com and mDisney mobile entertainment. WDIG is an industry leader in online virtual worlds for kids and families, with offerings including Disney’s Club Penguin, Disney’s Toontown Online and the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean Online and Disney Fairies. WDIG, which is headquartered in North Hollywood, Calif., has operations in Asia-Pacific, Europe and across the Americas.
In Europe, it operates 14 local Disney websites as well as Toontown Online, the world’s first massive multi-player online game for kids and families. In addition, WDIG develops interactive TV games which are available on Sky Gamestart in the UK and on Sky Italia in Italy. Through relationships with the majority of Europe’s mobile operators, WDIG produces and distributes Disney-branded mobile games, personalisation, and made for mobile video content and services.