Reports that a lot of people are losing their jobs at Disney Interactive appear to be genuine, as the publisher is beginning what it calls a “restructuring process” that will move away from traditional packaged games and toward the digital media games space.
“As part of setting a strategic direction for future success in the digital media space, the Disney Interactive Media Group [Disney Interactive Studios' parent company] today began a restructuring process,” Disney said in a statement given to Variety earlier this morning.
Around 250 people at Disney Interactive have been let go during a “first round” of layoffs over the last 24 hours, according to Joystiq. This news follows the recent reports of an unknown amount of layoffs at Junction Point, the studio who put out Epic Mickey.
The writing has been on the wall for some time, according to CNBC and Variety. The division paid big money for Facebook developer Playdom in 2010 and then lost a couple of key corporate guys, including president Steve Wadsworth and games department GM Graham Hopper. Both were replaced by Playdom CEO John Pleasants.
Also, back in 2010, there were layoffs at Propaganda Games following the cancellation of Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned. In 2011, Disney Interactive announced the shuttering of the entire studio after it shipped its other title, Tron: Evolution: The Video Game.
As Joystiq points out, Disney Interactive has yet to provide a statement on the status of Junction Point or Split Second developer Black Rock Studio. We definitely look forward to hearing something, and wish the best to those who've lost their jobs.