Walt Disney entered a multi-year games development partnership with leading mobile gaming company Jam City, continuing the Mouse House's foray into gaming and heightening expectations over the booming sector.
Under the terms of a deal announced last week, Jam City will be taking over the Glendale, California-based mobile game studio in charge of Disney's "Emoji Blitz" – a hugely popular mobile game Disney released in July 2016.
The deal also means that Jam City now holds the rights to develop new games based on elements from Disney's Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studio brands. The first planned collaboration between the two companies is expected to be a game based on Disney's "Frozen" sequel.
"The deal is in line with our overall strategy to move to a licensed games business and to work with the best developers in their genre to create unique games experiences based on our stories and characters," Kyle Laughlin, senior vice president of Disney's games and interactive experiences, told CNBC recently.
"Gaming is one of the fastest-growing industries in entertainment and we see a lot of opportunity and demand for Disney games," he added.
Disney's partnership with Jam City comes amid surging growth in mobile gaming. As of October, the segment of games played on smartphones and tablets will account for 47 percent of the revenues of the global gaming market this year, research firm Newzoo estimated recently. That translates into over $63 billion in revenue this year alone.
Newzoo also estimated that over $92 billion will be generated in global app revenues in 2018, but 76 percent of that share will come from game apps.