Disney is cranking up its mobile games development efforts with a significant staffing boost at its studio in Prague, which the company has renamed the Disney Mobile Games Studio.

The studio will become Disney’s largest European mobile games developer as a result of the staffing increase, and is being billed as a large part of the company’s strategy to extend its mobile gaming business worldwide. “The mobile gaming market is developing at a rapid pace,” said Cindy Rose, Senior Vice President of the Walt Disney Internet Group for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “With the strength of Disney’s brand, the depth of our content offering and our mobile gaming expertise, we feel that we are well positioned to capitalize on the growth potential of this sector across the EMEA region.”

“Our team specializes in in what we call “end-to-end development” and works on the entire creative process – from conception to the finished game which typically runs on over 400 different handsets,” said Disney Mobile Games Studio Managing Director Jiri Rosenkranz. “For young programmers, this provides an exciting career development opportunity. In the Czech Republic, there is a wealth of indigenous programming expertise, which combined with our long-standing Czech animation tradition, provides the ideal foundations for developing high-quality mobile games.”

Industry research has shown mobile gaming to be a developing market with strong growth potential, as market penetration of mobile handsets continues to grow and the devices become more attractive to gamers. The mobile gaming industry was valued at $2.1 billion in 2006, and analysts are predicting the market value could climb as high as $8.4 billion by 2010.

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