Disney Buys iPhone/iPad Game Maker Tapulous

The Walt Disney Company has entered into a deal to acquire Tapulous, maker of music-based games for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Tapulous has been one of the more successful game developers for Apple’s mobile platforms, with titles like Tap Tap Revenge—loosely patterned after rhythm games like Guitar Hero—and celebrity-themed games based on the popularity of acts like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. The acquisition both underscores Apple’s presence in the mobile gaming market…and Disney’s intention to expand its considerable franchise power to the mobile entertainment arena.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Tapulous founders Bart Decrem and Andrew Lacy will take on “leadership roles” within the Disney Interactive Media Group.

“Mobile gaming is seeing unprecedented growth and this is the right time to invest to strengthen our position in the mobile business,” said Disney Interactive Media Group president Steve Wadsworth, in a statement. “In a short time, Bart and Andrew have built Tapulous into a successful and accomplished mobile games developer that’s emerged as one of the most successful companies in the industry. We welcome the Tapulous team to the Disney family and look forward to integrating their popular games into Disney’s offerings.”

The move marks Disney’s second play in the gaming arena in recent weeks: in June, the company invested in Playdom, an online gaming company that develops games like Mobsters for the iPhone and Facebook.

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