Disney merging Interactive publishing divisions

By Steve Watts, Nov 12, 2013 3:00pm PST

The Walt Disney Company will merge its two separate Disney Interactive groups into one, the company has announced. It has been divided into Games and Media groups, under the direction of co-presidents Jimmy Pitaro and John Pleasants. Under the new structure, Pitaro will take full responsibility for Disney Interactive publishing. Pleasants will work with him on the transition and step down from the post.

"Following three years of consistent operating improvement at Disney Interactive and a great partnership between John and Jimmy, we are now in a position to fulfill our original objective to consolidate our Interactive business under one Los Angeles-based leader," said Disney CEO Robert A. Iger in the announcement, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz.

"With Jimmy and John's input, we have created an Interactive organization that is best structured to meet the demands of the fast-moving technology industry. I thank John for his many contributions to Disney Interactive including building tentpole products like Disney Infinity and establishing the company as a leading mobile games publisher and appreciate his passion for bringing Disney experiences to Guests on new platforms."

The New York Times reports that Pleasants took charge of most of the recent games initiatives (like Disney Infinity) while Pitaro has headed up the company's web presence on Disney.com. With this, Pitaro will be managing both.

At a recent earnings call, the company announced that Disney Infinity's starter set had hit one million units sold. That and strong toy sales helped make the gaming division profitable. Disney has had a successful mobile strategy as well, and boasts seven number-one mobile games in the last year. It's also planning on making use of its newly-purchased Star Wars property, with the recently released Tiny Death Star and multiple EA games on the horizon.

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