×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Disney to Lay Off Hundreds of Employees in Interactive Unit

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.

More Biz

  • Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists

    Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists Are Owed by PledgeMusic

    For eight years, PledgeMusic was a success story: A direct-to-fan platform where artists worked directly with their audiences to fund their albums, tours and all stripes of merchandise, with fans able to purchase everything from custom guitar picks to private concerts. Yet last June, Variety broke the news that the company is struggling to pay [...]

  • Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs

    Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs as It Battles With Local Industry

    Yeun Seung-ro has been appointed as CEO of CGV Mars Entertainment, the Korean-owned company that operates Turkey’s largest cinema chain. He replaces Kwak Dong Won, another veteran of the CJ-CGV group. The change of personnel may reflect two ongoing battles within the Turkish film industry. CJ-CGV, which bought Mars for some $650 million in 2016. [...]

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up CEO Resigned After Son Was Accused of Sexual Assault

    Time’s Up has announced in a statement posted to Instagram that its former president and CEO Lisa Borders, who resigned Feb. 18, did so after her son was accused of sexual assault in a “private forum.” “Within 24 hours, Lisa made the decision to resign as President and CEO of Time’s Up and we agreed [...]

  • Louis Tomlinson Signs With Arista (EXCLUSIVE)

    Louis Tomlinson Signs With Arista (EXCLUSIVE)

    One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson has signed with Arista, sources tell Variety. While the singer was formerly linked with Epic Records in 2017, he is signed directly to Simon Cowell’s Syco label and will move within the Sony Music family to Arista. Tomlinson teased a new single on Feb. 2, posting on Twitter, “Just heard the [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett's Bail Set at $100,000, Must Surrender Passport

    UPDATED: A Chicago judge set a $100,000 bond for Jussie Smollett on Thursday, as the “Empire” actor made his first court appearance. Smollett faces one felony count of filing a false police report. Police allege that Smollett staged a Jan. 29 attack, telling detectives that he was accosted by two men who used racial and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content