Disney in talks to buy games startup

Walt Disney is in talks to acquire social gaming start-up Playdom, according to a pair of media reports.

Playdom builds games that run on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. The company claims more than 38 million monthly active users, and its games include popular titles such as "Mobsters."

The news was first reported on Thursday by tech news site TechCrunch.

The Wall Street Journal said on Friday Disney is discussing a deal to buy Playdom for more than $500 million. The report cited people familiar with the matter.

Playdom declined to comment. Disney did not return calls seeking comment.

Mountain View, California-based Playdom's investors include Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, and Steamboat Ventures, Disney's investment fund.

The company has raised a total of $76 million in funding.

Social gaming has been the hot trend in video games, with a number of start-ups gaining the attention of Silicon Valley investors.

Zynga, the most high-profile social gaming outfit, has raised more than $200 million in funding.

Last year Electronic Arts agreed to buy social game maker Playfish for $275 million in cash plus other consideration.

Disney has recently shown interest in expanding its reach beyond traditional video games. Earlier this month, the company bought iPhone app developer Tapulous for an undisclosed amount.

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