I got to see and play this app at Disney last week during an event there, and then talked to Disney Interactive's Jeff Nuzzi about the app and Disney's future plans for it. Disney already tried this "free app portal" method with Toy Story 3, and that one worked pretty well. Nuzzi said the same thing is happening with this Tron app -- "it's two great games," he told me, "wrapped around a lot of promotional content." Disney's original plan for Toy Story 3 was to include some premium experiences in with the free content, but that didn't work out as planned. "It was really a very complicated app, and I think the fans out there, the early adopters, people that are familiar with Toy Story, knew how to navigate and get through there, but then a lot of first time users and iPod touch users weren't able to connect to Wi-Fi and had trouble downloading the app." In the end, Disney sent the Toy Story 3 app completely free, and that's why this Tron app is a free download as well.
Plus, Nuzzi and his company plan to keep updating the app with Tron content and information even after the movie releases. "As the movie goes through the box office and into more of a franchise, we can deliver news about the DVD or upcoming events," Nuzzi said. "It really is a portal for all things Tron and it's meant to live on beyond just the movie." The movie hits theaters on December 17, but you can download the free app with all of its extras right now.