Tapulous, the firm responsible for iPhone hit Tap Tap Revenge and whose investors include Justin Timberlake, has been scooped up by Disney. (Back to the Mouse House, Mr. FutureSex.) Tapulous called it a "remarkable day" and is no doubt looking forward to making lots of Miley Cyrus and Jonas Brothers apps.
Tapulous founder Bart Decrem will become a VP at Disney, and he sure is excited about it, telling TechCrunch that he'd be able to play with Marvel, ESPN, and Pixar, as well as Disney's own-brand stuff. "It's exciting to be in the driver's seat." Dude, you're a VP!
The acquisition strengthens Disney Interactive's stable, and allows the entertainment monster to be more competitive with Viacom, which owns the Rock Band franchise. Disney Interactive buys a video game studio every year, it seems. Here's the recent history:
- July 2007: Warren Spector's Junction Point Studios acquired
- April 2008: Chinese game developer Gamestar acquired
- September 2009: Wideload Games acquired
- July 2010: Tapulous acquired
As the entire U.S. of A. proceeds to start its Independence Day weekend, it might be worth pondering this thought: Tap Tap Revenge is nothing more than a simple, casual game on a very sophisticated device. And it's proven such a success that a big, rich, old-media firm was willing to snap it up. Three things are thus proved.
- Casual gaming ain't nearly as casual as we thought it was.
- Smartphone gaming is the future.
- Disney's got a good nose on it for sniffing out where the cheese is.
And I'll give you something else to ponder and dream upon. We are going to see some seriously freshly minted genius in the next year, as gaming developers seize on the iPhone 4's gyro powers and turn out some seriously wazoo-mungous apps. And then let the old-media acquisition frenzy begin.