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Walt Disney Internet Group expands European mobile content operations; acquires Living Mobile

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MUMBAI: The Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) has acquired Living Mobile (www.LivingMobile.net), which is a leading European mobile game developer and publisher.

The move is part of The Walt Disney Company's overall strategy to leverage technology, supporting WDIG's growth plans for its mobile business and raising its profile in the mobile games category.

"We're 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. Purchasing Living Mobile is a key part of that commitment. They have 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," said WDIG, International executive vice president and managing director Mark Handler.

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Munich, Living Mobile develops and publishes mobile games across Europe and in Singapore. Its portfolio of more than 70 games includes games based on popular content licenses including Hudson Soft's Bomberman and Lode Runner, CAPCOM's Resident Evil - ATN, and Saitek's Mephisto Chess M.E., as well as a line up of original titles and classic puzzle and card games including Solitaire Deluxe.

In May 2005, Mobile Games Analyst ranked Living Mobile among the top 10 of all European mobile game publishers in an analysis based on both games and distribution network.

"It's an honor to join one of the world's leading entertainment companies. Disney was the first major entertainment company to make a meaningful commitment to mobile content. They understand this business and have a great infrastructure in place, and we look forward to helping them grow internationally," said Living Mobile founder and president Stephan Berendsen.

Under the terms of the agreement, Living Mobile will operate as a subsidiary of WDIG Europe. It has approximately 40 employees and offices in Munich and Prague.

Having first entered the mobile market in Japan with a major mobile deal in August 2000 with NTT DoCoMo, Disney quickly became the number one mobile entertainment brand in that market with distribution on all four major carriers and more than 3.3 million paid subscriptions.

Based on its early learning in Japan, Disney is now one of the leading mobile content distributors worldwide with main offices in North Hollywood, Calif., London and Tokyo. Its content library has grown to include more than 6,000 products and services including ringtones, voicetones, games, video, graphics and applications which are distributed in 32 countries around the globe through agreements with more than 65 carriers and distributors.

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