Approximately 700 people are not having a magical day. The video game and internet divisions of Disney have been struggling, and let go of roughly 26% of its staff, after financial flops with mobile gaming titles such as Where’s My Water? 2. Although some layoffs were expected in the long run, having this many employees let go simultaneously was not anticipated.
James A. Pitaro, president of Disney Interactive, had the following to say:
We’re not exiting any businesses, and we will pursue licensing partnerships in which we retain a lot of creative input… But this is a doubling down on mobile and an effort to focus much more intently on a core set of priorities.
The Japanese mobile gaming team has actually been extremely popular overseas with one of their latest game Tsumu Tsumu dominating the download charts for over a month now. Basically, it’s up to Disney Interactive to shift their focus and really innovate with some more appealing licenses to bring a better balance. Since they bought Playdom, a large developer of social mobile games, in 2010, they haven’t had any big hits, which put a lot of financial pressure on the division. It’s just a big shame for the now former employees, and we hope the best for them and that they find other job opportunities very quickly.