Earlier this month, Disney Consumer Products & Interactive Media (DCPI) launched the highly anticipated Disney Crossy Road, a mobile game co-developed with Hipster Whale that features more than 100 Disney characters and nine different Disney worlds. Within just three weeks of launching, Disney Crossy Road has garnered more than ten million downloads and is played by nearly two million users a day so far.
This major milestone is a product of DCPI’s new strategy of creating fewer, larger mobile titles to bring the best experiences to consumers.
The Walt Disney Company’s mobile games division has always been a strong market contender with a variety of hit releases. Now, DCPI is streamlining those efforts by collaborating with franchise teams, developing games both in-house and with licensing partners, and building an interconnected community around games. DCPI’s new strategy has recently churned out hit games such as Star Wars: Commander, Frozen Free Fall and Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2.
“We rebooted the business,” Chris Heatherly, SVP of Disney Mobile Games, said in a recent interview with VentureBeat. “One of the problems we had in the past with our strategy was trying to be big for the sake of being big. [Now,] you’re seeing the pieces of the strategy come into place. We’ve worked on fewer, higher-quality games, and that strategy’s started to pay off.”
Part of that pay off is, of course, the explosive trajectory of Disney Crossy Road.
“[Disney Crossy Road’s success] is a pleasant surprise but it’s not totally surprising,” Heatherly said. “Whenever you do a sequel to a viral success, the risk is it won’t do as well as the original. But I think on this trajectory, it could do even better. It’s a multi-IP game, so every time we have a new film out, we can add new levels. New films give us new twists on gameplay, which keeps the game fresh and gives people new characters to collect.”
Disney Crossy Road has also successfully introduced rewarded video advertising, granting players in-game rewards if they choose to watch advertisements.