Insiders have said that a couple hundred employees within the Disney Interactive Studios group have been laid off. Although Disney has refrained from naming the exact number of cuts made, they did confirm that people did lose their jobs as part of an effort to restructure their digital media department. Small cuts were made at Junction Point Studios in Austin, Tex., the development group within Disney Interactive behind Epic Mickey video, a company spokeswoman said to the LA Times.
The layoffs come as no surprise, as Disney CEO Bob Iger said when John Pleasants took over the Disney Interactive Media Group with Yahoo executive Jimmy Pitaro when Steve Wadsworth left in September, the company would “focus on turning those businesses into profitability but diversifying our presence in the business, so we’re not reliant on one platform that’s obviously facing challenges,” Variety reports.
Epic Mickey aside, Disney has been having a hard time with their video game console titles, most notably TRON: Evolution which has had lackluster sales and Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned game was cancelled with no explanation after Disney put millions into creating the title. Disney closed Canadian studio Propaganda Games, who was in charge of the latter two titles, late last week. This means – especially since Pleasants was the former CEO of Playdom – that we’ll probably see a move toward more digital gaming from the company, but what form this will come in remains to be seen.
Updated: An earlier version of this story incorrectly estimated the number of employees being laid off by Disney.
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