The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) is makin’ moves online.Â In August 2007, the Mickey Mouse and “It’s a small world” creators acquired Club Penguin, a kid-friendly social network for $350 million.Â And now the company announced that they will be creating virtual worlds with online games.Â As a matter of fact, they hired a team to focus on these specific jobs.Â This new team will be part of the Walt Disney Internet Group and will be called Disney Online Studios.
Disney Online Studios will be managed by Steve Parkis.Â Parkis studied at Michigan State and Northwestern and then started his career working at Kimberly-Clark.Â AFter that, Parkis became a MD at Windhorst New Technologies.Â Today Steve serves as the Vice President of Premium Products for Disney Online.
The new Disney Online Studios team will also include Disney Online’s Virtual Reality Studio, Toontown Online, and Pirates of the Caribbean Online.Â Disney is also creating a virtual world where kids can control Disney Fairies and characters from the Disney film, Cars.Â Club Penguin will continue to report to the Walt Disney Internet Group.
Disney is taking over the market-share for virtual worlds made for children, a market that Linden Lab, creator of Second Life, could have easily done.Â Second Life had about 1.3 million users log in around March 2007 [clickz].Â I’m not sure what the current number of users are.
[Information Source:Â socalTECH]