iFone is banking on the deal to help it attract a bigger following in North America, where it has already introduced "Monopoly" and "Clue" for mobile phones. The company also has developed mobile-phone versions of early Atari video games "Asteroids" and "Pong," and distributes them through deals with wireless-services companies such as Sprint, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Verizon Wireless.
Other animation houses plan to introduce cell phone entertainment based on popular characters. In April, Warner Bros. and Vodafone inked a deal to create screen savers and games based on the entertainment giant's movies and TV series, including "Looney Tunes," "Harry Potter," "Friends" and "The Matrix." Disney has launched a mobile-entertainment division that serves up games and graphics with Cinderella, Mickey Mouse, and other characters.
is a booming business, market researchers say. Consumers in the United States will spend roughly $500 million on games, graphics, news alerts, songs and ring tones for phones this year, up from $200 million last year, according to wireless-technology research firm Zelos Group. Worldwide, wireless-service companies racked up $2.3 billion in ring tone sales alone last year, The Yankee Group recently reported.
Although prices vary, screen savers and ring tones typically range from $1 to $2, while games can cost up to $6. iFone will make the digital Rocky & Bullwinkle products available within the next few months and is still negotiating prices, a Bullwinkle Studios representative said.