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Disney Buys South Korean Game Developer Studio Ex (Report)

Disney Logo - H 2011

The new acquisition is Disney’s latest grab in an ongoing drive into the lucrative Asian gaming sector.

The Walt Disney Company has acquired South Korean game developer Studio Ex, All Things D reported today. The South Korean startup focuses on multiplayer, free-to-play online and mobile games -- a particularly hot sector in Korea, where mobile phone gaming and social media penetration rates rank among the highest in the world.

The All Things D report also noted that Studio Ex has yet to actually launch any games, speculating that the Disney acquisition is likely a talent grab -- in particular, for David Moon, former director of game services at NHN, one of the largest gaming hubs in the region.

“Through a stock purchase agreement, Studio Ex is now a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company reporting into Disney Interactive,” Disney said in a statement confirming the buy. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Studio Ex acquisition follows other recent Disney drives to develop gaming properties in East Asia, ATD reported. The company previously partnered with Korean developers Smilegate -- to produce Asian games based on Marvel characters -- and Zipi Studio, which is developing Zipi Racing, featuring the heroes of Toy Story and Cars.