Disney targets social gamers with acquisition of Playdom

Walt Disney (the company, not the man obviously) has completed its buyout of social gaming publisher Playdom, in a move that signals the company's focus on the social gaming market.

Disney has paid just over £490 million for the gaming brand, with another £128.5 million due depending on how well Playdom performs (sounds like a football transfer to us).

Playdom is the largest social gaming platform on MySpace, due to titles such as Mobsters and Sorority Life. But it's its position as the fourth biggest games network on Facebook and its forays into the App Store that would have been the most appealing for Disney.

Social network based gaming is a hugely expanding market, and there have been a number of high profile takeovers. In November 2009 EA bought out Playfish for £193 million and recently there have been reports that Google has been investing into Zynga, makers of the massively popular Farmville title.

Disney said that its latest acquisition "will strengthen its already-robust digital gaming portfolio, acquire a first-rate management team and provide consumers new ways to interact with the company on popular social networks like Facebook and MySpace".

So, expect to see Mickey Mouse, Woody, Buzz, Nemo and, er, Bagheera turning up on your social networks in the coming months - even if you're not a social network gamer, you'll still be inundated with tedious updates from your friends' games.



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