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Mass Layoffs Rumored at Disney Interactive [Updated]

by Steve Watts, Jan 25, 2011 7:40am PST

[Update: 13:24] Disney Interactive has issued a statement confirming layoffs, but stopping short of giving details: "As part of setting a strategic direction for future success in the digital media space, the Disney Interactive Media Group yesterday began a restructuring process."

[Original Story] Rumors are circulating today that Disney Interactive has been been hit by widespread layoffs, throwing the status of its premiere studios into question. Sources told Joystiq that this is the "first round" of layoffs, and includes 250 employees.

Word came late yesterday that Junction Point, the team behind Disney Epic Mickey, suffered layoffs, though we aren't sure yet on the studio's status. Sources claim that Junction Point head Warren Spector's fate will be different than the rest of the team. We also haven't heard word yet on how this will impact Split/Second developer Black Rock Studios.

Late last year, Propaganda Games was hit with heavy layoffs as Disney ceased development on Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned. The studio was subsequently closed last week. Disney didn't give a specific reason for the cancellation.

Despite a mixed critical reception, Epic Mickey sold reasonably well, coming in at #6 on NPD data during one of the busiest shopping months of the year. Rumor has it that the game didn't sell as well as expected.

We've reached out to Disney for official word, but have yet to hear back at the time of publishing.