iOS developer Tapulous acquired by Disney

Disney agrees to buy iOS developer Tapulous, which makes the Tap Tap series, Riddim Ribbon, and Twitter app Twinkle.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

Disney has agreed to buy app developer and publisher Tapulous, according to a report from TechCrunch, and later confirmed by CNET's own sources.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tapulous is probably best known for its iOS apps, which include the Tap Tap series, Riddim Ribbon, and Twitter app Twinkle, which made the jump from a jailbroken application to a legitimate one on the App Store.

Tapulous' creations have also been featured in several Apple advertisements and keynotes, including the one for iOS 4, where Apple CEO Steve Jobs used a Tap Tap game to demonstrate multitasking for the first time.

Having larger, corporate owners is likely to be a boon for the development studio--especially on the music side. The company's Tap Tap games employ a wealth of licensed music, and Disney has its own music subsidiaries in the form of the Disney Music Group. There are also the obvious Disney franchises and characters Tapulous may now get a chance at including in its titles.

Tapulous and Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment or confirmation of the deal.

Update at 2:44 p.m. PDT: Added confirmation from CNET's own sources. Mashable is also confirming the deal, as well as saying the company will remain in Palo Alto, while co-founder and CEO Bart Decrem and co-founder and COO Andrew Lacy have been promoted to senior VPs at Disney's Interactive unit.

Update at 5:02 p.m. PDT: Tapulous' Decrem has confirmed the news on the company's blog, writing:

As part of Disney Interactive Media Group, we'll develop more games, more quickly and with the resources of the world's leading entertainment company. We will continue to develop apps that live at the intersection of music and gaming, but we'll also push into new and exciting areas of mobile social entertainment. We're literally bursting with ideas for new apps!

Decrem also mentioned that the company's Tap Tap Revenge software has had more than 35 million App Store downloads and a billion songs played.

Disney confirmed the news with its own press release, and verified earlier claims that Decrem and Lacy would be working in Disney's Interactive unit.