Disney has made a big investment in Massively MultiPlayer Role Playing Games (MMRPGs) over the last 10 years or so. VMK, Pirates, Cars, Pixie Hollow, and Toontown have all be successes on various levels. It certainly made sense at the time as that was the direction online gaming appeared to be going.
However it turns out that there is a limited audience for the type of game that requires to you log into a separate world disconnected from everything else online. The big action these days is in games that are connected to the Social Media space — Social Gaming. So I wasn’t surprised to hear that Disney is looking to purchase one of the leaders in that space, Playdom.
Techcrunch makes an interesting point, that Social Gaming is the perfect platform for building excitement around a movie or franchise, perhaps even before it reaches theaters or TV. I think this would be a very good move by Disney. Not sure they need to buy an outside company instead of developing it in house, but that’s how the world works these days, I guess.