Disney and mobile game development outfit Jam City have announced a long-term partnership wherein the latter will develop a number of new mobile games based on Disney properties and will also take over all duties related to publishing and maintaining the company's existing Disney Emoji Blitz game. The change will see employees from Disney's Glendale Games internal dev house heading over to Jam City to continue developing Emoji Blitz, and to aid development efforts for future Disney and Pixar licensed games made by Jam City. The first all-new game to come from this arrangement will be a mobile tie-in with the upcoming Frozen sequel.
Background: Jam City has a rich history on the Android gaming scene. The studio has brought many popular intellectual properties to life in mobile game form, responsible for hits like Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Snoopy Pop, and Family Guy – Another Freakin' Mobile Game. The studio was a joint venture between a MySpace co-founder and a Fox executive that started all the way back in 2009. Disney's senior vice president of games, Kyle Laughlin, made it clear that he was excited about the deal. He also said that the company was eager to see just how the Disney Emoji Blitz team is going to grow and change under Jam City's leadership. The company's stable of popular and award-winning games was cited as one of the primary reasons for the partnership. Jam City's CEO, Chris DeWolfe, echoed those sentiments, saying that he was excited to work with Disney and use its beloved characters in new games.
Impact: Jam City specializes in addictive casual games, making Disney Emoji Blitz a perfect fit for its catalog. As for future games, things could go either way; we may be seeing a series of games that tell a rich story with existing Disney characters, in the vein of Hogwarts Mystery, or we could see even more of the casual fare that Jam City already pumps out. Judging from how excited both studios seem to be about this deal, it will result in much more than a few Cookie Jam reskins or inserting Disney characters in existing Jam City games, though that is certainly not only a possibility, but a highly probable outcome of this deal. Since Jam City will be developing these games with guidance from Disney, it's also entirely possible that the studio will step out of its comfort zone and make some games with Disney characters that are unlike anything else in its rich catalog. While the deal is exciting in a way, those expecting something akin to Epic Mickey or Kingdom Hearts will almost certainly find themselves disappointed. In any case, this deal expands Disney's foothold in the mobile gaming world and gaming in general, which is definitely not a bad thing for Disney fans who want to see more games based on popular Disney and Pixar properties. The Wreck-It Ralph franchise, for example, is fertile ground on which to make a great game or even a series of them. Ultimately, only time will tell how well Disney and Jam City handle the deal and what will come of it.