Report: Disney Interactive cuts 80 more staff

Disney Interactive has reportedly been hit with 80 more layoffs, in addition to the roughly 250 that were reported in January.

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[Update 2:03 pm] A Disney spokesperson has confirmed the layoffs to Shacknews and echoed the official statement below.

[Original Story] Disney Interactive has reportedly been hit with another round of layoffs in addition to the ones in January. Paid Content (via GamesIndustry) reports that almost 80 employees were laid off, composing about 2% of the work force.

In January, Disney let go of 250 employees, and rumor had it that more stages of layoffs would come. Disney reportedly issued a statement to Paid Content saying these were "targeted" layoffs to set the stage for "future success in digital media."

Disney confirmed the January layoffs, saying it was "part of setting a strategic direction for future success in the digital media space." We've sent an inquiry to Disney Interactive regarding the report, but have not heard back as of time of writing.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 15, 2011 8:00 AM

    Comment on Report: Disney Interactive cuts 80 more staff, by Steve Watts.

    • reply
      March 15, 2011 8:06 AM

      Summary: Disney Interactive has reportedly been hit with 80 more layoffs, in addition to the roughly 250 that were reported in January.

    • reply
      March 15, 2011 8:10 AM

      All employees were given two Disney mystery pins that they could trade with security guards on their way out the door!

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      March 15, 2011 8:22 AM

      Is Johnny V okay?

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        March 15, 2011 8:33 AM

        Hahahahah, that was driving them nuts.

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          March 15, 2011 10:59 AM

          But is he ok?

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            March 15, 2011 11:58 AM

            I think the Giant Bomb guys should have a "breaking news" intro on today's Bombcast to update us on the status of John Vignocchi. Failing that, let's see what their news article comments section says.

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              March 15, 2011 1:21 PM

              I expect a FULL REPORT.

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              March 15, 2011 9:34 PM

              Poor Johnny, He's going to bring Disney interactive down with him too ;-) guy just cant catch a break..

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      March 15, 2011 8:42 AM

      Mars Needs Moms tanked, pulling less then 8 mil on a 150 million dollar budget. Mickey demands blood.

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        March 15, 2011 9:07 AM

        Well it sounds like they've canceled Robert Zemeckis' Yellow Submarine remake, so I think the punishment's already been doled out. These layoffs are because Epic Mickey tanked.

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          March 15, 2011 9:19 AM

          It sold well over a million copies and was the 5th best console game (in terms of sales) for North America in December. I realize Disney had extremely high expectations for the game, but it didn't "tank". Mars Needs Moms tanked, badly. Epic Mickey didn't (and I say this as someone who doesn't own the game, nor a Wii).

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            March 15, 2011 9:47 AM

            Interesting, I must have the sales figures and the critical reception confused.

            Yeah it's probably their unrealistic expectations and/or everything else tanking (how did those Tron2 games fare?)

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              March 15, 2011 10:02 AM

              I don't think the rest of their games have done very well at all, and I think they had super high expectations for Epic Mickey (which was apparently far from perfect but still sold decently). Across the board it seems like they're really pushing for lower-risk casual games that have a potential for high return.

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            March 15, 2011 10:25 AM

            wait, did it actually sell a million, or did it only sell a million to stores.

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        March 15, 2011 9:12 AM

        While it did indeed tank, it has nothing to do with Disney Interactive. MnM was produced by Robert Z's studios and that was closed down already. The Video game branch of Disney has been hit by mediocre responses to their latest games, Epic Mickey and various licensed games. Also, I am not sure how the profit splits between Square and Disney with the Kingdom Hearts series, but they have been bleeding that dry on the hand helds and I don't think the latest outing did so hot.

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          March 15, 2011 9:21 AM

          They need to release Kingdom Hearts 3 on the PS3 already.

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          March 15, 2011 9:31 AM

          Mickey doesn't care who has to do with what. Blood for the blood god!

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          March 15, 2011 9:38 AM

          I don't think Disney cares about how good something is as long as it makes them money or else they wouldn't put out a billion direct to video sequels of their movies. I thought they said before they want to focus on social gaming (like Facebook or web games) which seems pretty stupid if that involves ignoring the rest of the games industry.

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            March 15, 2011 10:00 AM

            Disney and the game industry have always been kinda weird. They've always sort of had this half-assed division, originally called Buena Vista Games, to make the dippy little kid tie-in games. I seem to recall there was a big fight within the company to make Tron 2.0 (and then it was farmed out to Monolith). While some people there clearly have a clue what they're doing (the ones working with Square on the Kingdom Hearts series) I've never really felt like Disney had their heart in it.

            On a related note, check out the latest Idle Thumbs podcast (GDC 2011 Conf Grenade 2). I missed whoever this is but one of the guys on the episode tells this great story, at Remo's urging, of his tenure at Disney Interactive, which includes how Epic Mickey was something he started on a lark when he was an Intern because they had no idea how to work Mickey into a game and asked him what he would do, how his third day as a full employee he was pitching the game to Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, how Iger asked him if they had the rights to the Oswald the Rabbit character and how he had to sheepishly admit that they didn't, how he finds out three weeks later, almost by accident, that Disney traded Al Michaels to Universal in exchange for the Oswald rights, and how he doodled an idea on a post-it and the art department ran with it and made it the cover art for the game. It's a really neat listen.

            http://www.idlethumbs.net/

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        March 15, 2011 9:49 AM

        The mouse sent that film out to die.

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      March 15, 2011 9:31 AM

      How many at Junction Point?