Disney Mobile

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Disney Mobile
PredecessorDisney Interactive Studios
Founded2000 Edit this on Wikidata
Key people
Bart Decrem, GM
OwnerThe Walt Disney Company
Number of employees
ParentDisney Interactive
(Disney Parks, Experiences and Products)
DivisionsStarwave Mobile
Footnotes / references

Disney Mobile is a division of Disney Interactive, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, that designs mobile apps, content and services.[1]


Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) in August 2000 entered the mobile content market in Japan with an agreement with NTT DoCoMo to launch the Disney-i content service.[3] In November 2003, WDIG and Index Corporation agreed to "develop and distribute Disney-branded mobile content for the Chinese market" and that Index would in conjunction with China Mobile to launch Disney Mobile service.[4] Disney Internet Group launched DisneyMobile.com in December 2003 as portal for Disney Mobile content.[5]

WDIG licensed Disney Mobile content to KPN, a prominent Dutch telecom firm starting in January 2004.[6] WDIG in March 2004 agreed to a licensing deal with Vodafone to provide Disney Mobile services in 14 countries: Australia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.[7] Also in 2004, Disney re-activated the Starwave identity as Starwave Mobile, which publishes casual games for mobile phones for non-Disney brands with in Disney conglomerate or from third party.[8]

Sprint and Disney had previously launched a phone service for sports fans using content from Disney's sports channel, ESPN, branded Mobile ESPN.[9]

The company working with Sprint started a Mobile Virtual Network Operator in the United States[10] which launched in June 2006.[citation needed] DMobile and O2 agreed to a Mobile Virtual Network Operator agreement in April 2006 for the United Kingdom.[11] In August 2006, DMobile halted its plans to roll out its wireless service in the UK citing "adverse changes in the retail environment for its decision".[12]

In September 2007, DMobile stopped signing up new wireless customers and discontinued the wireless service altogether on December 31, 2007. DMobile decided to shift its strategy by licensing its mobile suite, Family Center, and its content to other providers.[13] However, in November 2007, Disney Japan and Softbank announced a wireless service joint venture, Disney Mobile, to be launched in 2008.[14]

In July 2010, Disney purchased Tapulous to increase available mobile expertise. In 2011, Bart Decrem of Tapulous was appointed general manager of DMobile.[2]

Launched September 22, 2011, Where's My Water?, a mobile game, starring Swampy the alligator - the first Disney original mobile character - for 20 days in October 2011 rivaled Angry Birds even becoming the top mobile game on the iTunes’ bestseller charts for a short time. This has led to a YouTube channel with a web series for Swampy.[2] Where's My Water? has inspired several spin-offs including “Where’s My Perry?” and “Where’s My Mickey?”.[15]

Also launched by DMobile in September 2011 was Puffle Launch, a mobile version of the game played on Club Penguin. Working with Spin Master, DMobile launched in October 2011 the first Disney Appmates game with Cars 2 toys that interact with an iPad screen.[2]

With a decrease in venture capital flowing into game companies, Disney Interactive, including Disney Mobile has been able to find co-development partners easier. This co-development model has lifted Disney to have 11 games among the 200 most-downloaded.[16] Disney Mobile teamed up with Temple Run's game company to release a variant, Temple Run: Brave. DMobile teamed up with developer Hipster Whale to release Disney Crossy Road on April 6, 2016, which in two days became the top downloaded game on iOS.[17]


In the US, it operated on Sprint's CDMA network. Disney handled the administrative side and marketed the service to family subscribers.[10]

Disney Mobile's offering included Family Center suite, a multiple family-friendly applications to help parents manage their family's mobile phone experience. The innovative family monitor and call control features allowed parents to set spending limits and decide when the phone could and couldn't be used. The family locator service allowed parents to use GPS to locate the kid's phone. There was also a family alert feature that let the whole family send text messages to each other.[10][13]

Disney and Sprint had hoped that Disney Mobile content and applications would help drive demand for data services.[10]

Game support[edit]

Disney Mobile is well-known for producing a myriad of games for iOS and Android, but due to the limitations of its support team, it must discontinue old games before releasing new ones. Some games, such as Where's My Water will continue to be supported indefinitely.


  • George Grobar, senior vice president and General manager (2005[10]–2008)
  • Bart Decrem, General manager (2011[2]–present)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Disney Mobile - Palo Alto". Job Seeker Center Company Profile. Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e Goldman Getzler, Wendy (February 1, 2012). "Disney Mobile raises the bar". kidscreen.com. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  3. ^ Handler, Mark S. (November 11, 2004). "Global brands go mobile: think mobile content is just for geeks? Mickey Mouse begs to differ". EDN. Archived from the original on April 9, 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  4. ^ "WDIG To Launch Disney Mobile Content in China". The Online Reporter. November 1, 2003. Archived from the original on April 9, 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Disney To Open Mobile Content Info Site". The Online Reporter. December 20, 2003. Archived from the original on October 9, 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Disney Mobile Content Goes Dutch". The Online Reporter. January 10, 2004. Archived from the original on February 22, 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  7. ^ "BRIEFCASE 14 MORE COUNTRIES GET DISNEY MOBILE". Daily News. Los Angeles, CA. March 2, 2004. Archived from the original on February 22, 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  8. ^ "New Disney Group To Offer Third-Party Mobile Content". The Online Reporter. October 30, 2004. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  9. ^ Sharma, Dinesh C. (December 1, 2004). "Sprint passes ball to ESPN". CNET News. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Mickey Mouse goes wireless". CNET News. July 6, 2005. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  11. ^ "O2 hooks up with Disney for new 'family friendly' MVNO". theregister.co.uk. April 28, 2006. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  12. ^ Ray, Bill (August 16, 2006). "Disney scraps UK mobile plan". theregister.co.uk. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  13. ^ a b Metz, Cade (September 28, 2007). "Disney immobilizes Disney Mobile". theregister.co.uk. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  14. ^ "Walt Disney ties up with Softbank to offer mobile phone service in Japan". AP Worldstream. November 12, 2007. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  15. ^ Graser, Marc (June 18, 2013). "Disney's 'Where's My Mickey?' is Newest Spin-off of 'Where's My Water?' Franchise". Variety. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  16. ^ Dave, Paresh (April 25, 2016). "How Disney's video games division benefits from a drop in tech start-up funding". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  17. ^ Grubb, Jeff (April 8, 2016). "Disney Crossy Road is already the No. 1 downloaded app on iOS in the U.S." Venture Beat. Retrieved May 4, 2016.

External links[edit]