Disney Interactive Looking to Make Massive Staff CutsFiled inside: News
Disney Interactive, the developer responsible for last year’s colossal hit, Disney Infinity, is intending to let go of about 200 more employees. The orchestrated downsizing, which is allegedly in line with President Jimmy Pitaro’s strategy to bring the gaming division back into the black, could reportedly begin as soon as this week. Pitaro was given full control of Disney Interactive in November, and several layoffs have happened in the interim during this restructuring.
On Wednesday, February 5th, the company conveyed the financial results for the first quarter of its fiscal year, which ended December 28th. The combination of Disney Infinity and the substantial growth in Disney’s Japanese mobile business helped the division’s revenues jump 38 percent to $403 million. In that span, operating income increased from $46 million to $55 million. In comparison, it only had an operating income of $9 million in the same fiscal quarter last year.
The company’s gaming division has recently seen multiple substantial hits to its gaming division. Just last year, Texas-based Junction Point Studios, developer of the Epic Mickey games, was closed, and with it, about 50 employees were laid off. A few years before, in 2011, saw the shuttering of Tron: Evolution developer, Propaganda Games. Another 200 employees found themselves without work.
Disney Interactive has lost more than $200 million per year from 2008 through 2012. So, the cuts are coming despite the fact that Disney Interactive actually performed better, at least in terms of percentage for increased revenue, when compared with Disney’s other divisions. Still, the company is intending to invest immensely in Disney Infinity, which the U.S. tracking firm, NPD, reports as the tenth highest-selling game 2013.
The above regrettable news comes tied with information from Disney CEO Bob Iger, who stated that future installments or expansions of the game will include a “broader set of our more popular characters.” Reportedly, popular icons from both the Marvel and Star Wars universes, properties that Disney attained in recent years, are being readied for the successful NFC-based video game and toy line combination.
Disney Interactive currently employs about 3,000 workers.