Disney Interactive is currently downsizing, apparently in a pretty substantial way, as nearly half of its 700 member staff may be getting the boot. Disney calls the layoffs a “restructuring process” in its statement. Variety reports that many were anticipating the layoffs as many key players left the division last year, including Graham Hopper, who spent the last eight years building the studio into a formidable entity in the gaming industry. New talent is coming in to upper management, including John Pleasants, CEO of Playdom, which Disney acquired last year. Disney’s current CEO Bob Iger said Pleasants would “focus on turning those businesses into profitability” and “diversifying our presence in the business, so we’re not reliant on one platform that’s obviously facing challenges.”
While terms can have multiple connotations in the business context, he may be referring to last year’s Epic Mickey, which released exclusively for the Nintendo Wii, a console that is notoriously difficult for third party developers to find success on. Epic Mickey was panned critically, but is apparently the fastest selling game in Disney Interactive’s history, pushing 1.3 million copies last December.