Disney to Lay Off Hundreds of Employees in Interactive Unit

Toy Story playset for Disney Infinity

Further cuts are coming to Disney’s Interactive group, with several hundred people expected to be laid off as early as this week.

The staff reductions are expected to come mostly from Disney’s Playdom, which produces games for social-media platforms, sources confirm to Variety. Disney Interactive also runs Disney.com and produces mobile games, including the franchises “Where’s My Water?” and, more recently, “Where’s My Mickey?”

Disney purchased Playdom in 2010 for $563 million, but the company has struggled in its efforts to release a string of successful franchises since then, although “Marvel: Avengers Alliance” has performed well.

Instead, Disney has scored with new properties like “Disney Infinity,” essentially its version of Activision’s “Skylanders,” which combines the use of physical figures and videogames. “Disney Infinity” has sold more than 3 million copies since it debuted in August.

SEE ALSO: Can ‘Disney Infinity’ Turn Around the Mouse House’s Worst Performing Division?

Disney Interactive has a staff of some 3,000 employees.

The division, which has long struggled to turn a profit and has undergone a series of layoffs over the years, can claim only two positive quarters in the past five years. Disney’s continuing goal is to push the interactive unit into the black as it focuses on core properties with less overhead.

The staff reductions are expected to take place after Disney announces its quarterly results on Wednesday.

Cuts have been expected since Jimmy Pitaro took over as sole president of Disney Interactive, after John Pleasants was ousted in November, and the games and media groups were merged.

Disney declined to comment.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

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  1. Yoko T says:

    If the management was to play the games at playdom.com maybe the problems would become clearer.

    I play “Gardens of Time”, a unique hidden object game in that very small area that contains games that are not violent and yet are not childish either. It has been copied but still has no competition. GoT has beautiful graphics, an entertaining storyline that travels through world history and has unlimited potential for development and very passionate players.

    The game is in eternal beta and has bugs right and left and yet the players forgive everything because we just love the game. If it doesn’t make a profit, that can only be because those that have been messing with the game do not know what they’re doing. They could, at least, read the games fora.

    • I agree with you Yoko, I play on playdom and on Facebook , I also played on my iPad ( I really miss my garden on my iPad)The game is awesome and the fellowship we have with our team mates … family <3

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