Jam City announced today that the company is entering into a multi-year mobile game development partnership with Disney. This deal will not only grant Jam City the rights to develop titles around Pixar and Walt Disney properties, but the company has also acquired Disney's Glendale Games Studio to take over its operations.
It would appear that the employees of Disney’s Glendale Games Studio will join Jam City while working on the casual Disney Emoji Blitz collection game. Luckily this is exactly the sort of title Jam City has experience with, as the studio tends to concentrate on extremely casual games like Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery and Snoopy Pop. We also know that the first official game to bear the fruit of this partnership will be a title based around Disney's Frozen.
This is indeed a massive deal for Jam City, and it should really open the floodgates for potential earnings thanks to Disney's extremely lucrative licenses. Whether or not this is a good deal for Disney's fans is another question. Jam City happens to be the same studio that forced its players to pay or wait when a child character in its Hogwarts Mystery game was actively being choked, which is arguably a very sleazy thing to do in a children's game already infested with numerous in-app purchases. But if one instance of greed isn't enough to convince you of how Jam City likes to roll, take a look at the rest of its catalog. You'll notice that some of its games even contain IAPS that reach all the way up to $299, which is pretty outrageous for a bunch of bubble poppers and match-3 titles.
The biggest issue I can see with this deal is that Disney is known for its many licenses that appeal to children, and the sort of games Jam City works on tend to employ questionable monetization practices. Obviously, there is a lot of money to be made by targeting children with IAP-laden games that contain their favorite Disney characters, but is that potential money worth flushing the family-friendly image Disney has built over the last 95 years? Sadly this deal appears to be proof that it is.
Jam City and Disney Announce Multi-Year Mobile Games Development Partnership
Jam City to Develop a Slate of New Mobile Games Based on Iconic Global Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios IP and Will Take Over as Publisher of the Popular Disney Emoji Blitz Mobile Game
LOS ANGELES; November 14, 2018 – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Jam City, a leader in mobile entertainment, today announced a multi-year mobile games development partnership with Disney that includes Jam City taking over Disney’s popular mobile game, Disney Emoji Blitz. Members of Disney’s Glendale Games Studio will join Jam City and continue to operate and grow Disney Emoji Blitz as part of the Jam City team. Jam City will also have the right to develop new mobile games based on iconic characters and stories from Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. The first game Jam City and Disney plan to develop is a mobile game based on Disney Animation’s Frozen sequel.
“Jam City is proud to be teaming with Disney,” said Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and CEO of Jam City. “Disney is the world’s leader in beloved characters and brands that have engaged generations of fans for decades. Jam City’s leadership in mobile entertainment based on iconic entertainment IP, makes our company an ideal partner to develop a lineup of new mobile games with Disney’s most popular franchises.”
“While our licensing business for Disney Animation and Pixar games has grown over the last year and we have several top developers creating Disney games, this deal with Jam City represents a significant long-term opportunity for our games business and for the future slate of Disney and Pixar games,” said Kyle Laughlin, Senior Vice President of Games and Interactive Experiences at Disney. “We can’t wait to see how Jam City and the incredibly talented team behind Disney Emoji Blitz will grow the already successful game and franchise, and how Jam City will bring their global reach and expertise in developing successful, enduring mobile games to the upcoming titles.”
Through Disney Emoji Blitz, players collect and match hundreds of Disney Animation, Pixar and Star Wars emojis. The game’s players also earn prizes, complete missions, and discover new emoji characters from Disney Animation’s Wreck-It Ralph, Mickey Mouse & Friends, Disney Villains, Pixar's Toy Story and more. Disney Emoji Blitz engages users by combining a unique match-3 blitz game with a deep emoji collection mechanic.
Disney Emoji Blitz is currently available on the App Store and Google Play. Other free-to-play mobile titles developed under the Jam City and Disney agreement will be available worldwide on the App Store and Google Play.
About Jam City
Jam City is a leader in mobile entertainment, providing unique and deeply engaging games that appeal to broad global audiences. Jam City was founded in 2009 by MySpace cofounder and CEO Chris DeWolfe and former 20th Century Fox executive Josh Yguado. Jam City is the creative powerhouse behind some of the highest grossing and most enduring social gaming franchises for mobile, including Cookie Jam (Facebook “Game of the Year” winner) and Panda Pop. Jam City is the go-to studio for Hollywood, having developed immersive, narrative rich mobile games around iconic entertainment brands including Harry Potter, Family Guy and Marvel Avengers. Jam City has studios in Los Angeles (HQ), San Francisco, San Diego, Bogotá and Buenos Aires. The Jam City team is known for its creative excellence and technological innovation in key areas including storytelling, data science and audience insights.
About Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products
Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) that brings the magic of Disney's stories, characters and franchises into the daily lives of families and fans around the world to create memories that last a lifetime. The company's iconic travel and leisure businesses include six resort destinations in the United States, Europe, and Asia; a top-rated cruise line; a luxurious family beach resort in Hawaii; a popular vacation ownership program; and an award-winning guided family adventure business. Disney's global consumer products operations include the world's leading licensing business; the world's largest children's print publisher; Disney Store locations around the world; and the shop Disney e-commerce platform. These experiences are created by Walt Disney Imagineering, the innovative force responsible for overseeing the segment's world-class products and experiences — from immersive lands to interactive toys, and everything in between.