Disney to buy China's Gamestar

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NEW YORK -- Disney Interactive Studios on Monday said it plans to buy Gamestar, the Chinese video game developer it has worked with for more than a year on such products as its "Hannah Montana" game for the PlayStation 2.

If the deal closes by the end of summer as planned, it would be Disney Interactive Studios' first foray into video game development in China.

Founded in 2002 by engineers Frank Feng and Webster Qi with entrepreneur David Zhu, Gamestar employs 90 people in Shanghai and the Central China city of Wuhan.

"Gamestar will play an important role in our global growth plans, providing a high-quality talent pool for our expanding product portfolio," said Graham Hopper, executive vp and general manager of Glendale, Calif.-based Disney Interactive.

Disney's Salt Lake City-based gaming companies Avalanche Software and Fall Line Studios have been working with Gamestar for about a year on graphic design, computer-generated images and technology solutions, said Angela Emery, Disney Interactive Studios' vp communications.

Terms of the pending acquisition were not disclosed.

Disney Interactive Studios' global strategy is to sell Disney content on multimedia platforms, sometimes via selective local licensees, according to its Web site.
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