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Business

Walt Disney Buys Germany's Living Mobile

The Walt Disney Co. announced Tuesday its acquisition of German game developer and publisher Living Mobile in an effort to expand its role in the European cell phone games market.

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Disney makes its move into the mobile gaming industry

Disney declined to provide financial details of the deal, which will see the Munich-based Living Mobile absorbed into the Walt Disney Internet Group Europe (WDIG).

Even though the acquisition price wasn't disclosed, WDIG said the deal was part of Disney's overall strategy to leverage technology, supporting growth plans for its mobile business and raising its profile in the mobile games category.

WDIG Managing Director Mark Handler said his company is "committed to maintaining our position as a top-tier mobile content publisher with a portfolio including both Disney branded content and content from third parties." He went on to say that Living Mobile has a "proven track record in mobile game publishing and world-class talent in this new and highly competitive game category, and their strong, existing library makes us a serious competitor in games."

Mobile videogames

Living Mobile , founded in 2001, publishes more than 70 mobile games across Europe and Singapore including Hudson Soft's "Bomberman", "Lode Runner" and Capcom's "Resident Evil."

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Mobile gaming seen as a big growth market in Europe

The deal follows Disney's announcement of its plans to launch its own branded mobile telephony service, "Disney Mobile". Disney also acquired British-based interactive TV games developer Minds Eye earlier this year.

Disney said that the first-person shooter games offered by Living Mobile , a big segment for adult gamers, will be distributed under the Living Mobile Brand. It plans to stop distribution of other adult games, including "Playboy," as soon as possible.

Disney first entered the mobile content market in 2000 with a deal with NTT DoCoMo in Japan. It now has mobile content distribution arms in Hollywood, London and Tokyo, with content going into 32 countries. The company boasts 3.3 million paid subscriptions to its mobile content.



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