‘Don’t tackle mobile without the budget’

Disney’s EMEA commercial director for games Matt Carroll says marketers should be wary of launching mobile games, even if they work for popular franchises, as their brands could be “hurt in a big way” if the project is under resourced and does not deliver on wider brand promises.

Where's My Water

Speaking at the Open Mobile Summit in London today (30 May), Carroll advised that if brands do not have the budget or internal resource to launch a mobile game, they should instead try to build a “complement” to other platforms that works on mobile.

“Focus on one feature that’s really special and concentrate on how that complements something else.

“A lot of people think just having a good brand will [make a mobile game successful]. The rule has always been ‘great game plus great brand equals mega bucks’ you can sometimes have one or the other [and still be successful], but a great game will always win,” he added.

Caroll said “the Disney way” with all its brand extensions has always been to bet on big franchises, such as Mickey, Princess and Winnie the Pooh, and continue to keep making them work harder.

But he warned: “If you over exploit at any certain time, that brand might have a wobble. For us, mobile is an opportunity to add, be special and do more – don’t sell out.”

Disney has built a number of successful mobile apps on the back of its well-known franchises, but has also created entirely new intellectual property on mobile, such as its Where’s My Water game app, which was downloaded more than 1 million times in its first month of release. The company is currently preparing the roll out of a Where’s My Water merchandise range in the US, to emulate the mobile-to-offline success of Rovio’s Angry Birds.

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