Disney has purchased Helsinki-based startup Rocket Pack, a social game developer (Warimals: Cats vs. Dogs) and the creator of a HTML5 game engine described as "Google Docs for making games".
The firm was founded just a year ago and debuted its Rocket Engine platform last December, promising a "fully integrated solution for plugin-free browser game dvelopment" that enabled developers to create HTML5-powered single player titles, Facebook games, and browser-based MMOs that work across a variety of platforms.
Rocket Pack has so far released a single title, Warimals: Cats vs. Dogs, an asynchronous MMO on Facebook meant to demonstrate Rocket Engine's capabilities. Though the game has only 50,000 monthly active users, the Finnish developer claims this is the first social game built on HTML5 to be released on the social network.
Neither Disney or Rocket Pack disclosed financial terms for the acquisition, but Techcrunch cites a source that puts the purchase figure somewhere between $10 million and $20 million -- a fraction of the $763.2 million the media conglomerate agreed to pay out when it bought social game developer Playdom last year.
Some speculate that Disney acquired the HTML5 engine maker as part of a strategy to build and release multi-platform games that circumvent App Stores, such as Apple's marketplace that takes a 30 percent cut from all revenues. Users playing Rocket Engine-created games would be able to directly load the titles in mobile/tablet browsers.
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