Disney lays off half its game staff

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by Nujui, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. Nujui
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    Nujui I need something to do.

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    Walt Disney has laid off hundreds of people in its game-development division as it transitions from console content to more casual gaming, according to CNBC.

    Citing an unnamed source, CNBC reported that Disney may have eliminated up to 350 of the 700 jobs in the company's game-development office.

    However, a source close to Disney told CNET today that the layoffs are not nearly as steep as CNBC is reporting.
    The news is all the more surprising when one considers that Disney launched the popular Epic Mickey on the Nintendo Wii less than two months ago. The release had prompted some to wonder whether the company would actually start focusing more of its efforts on console games.

    Epic Mickey allows players to take control of the famous mouse and use paint or paint thinner to change the in-game world. Making Mickey Mouse a staple in the gaming market is something that Disney had dreamed about for years. Back in 2009, Epic Mickey creator Warren Spector told CNET that Disney had been looking for "someone to bring Mickey to a gaming audience in a whole new way and make him a hero for the 21st century." He specifically cited top gaming characters that Disney believed, Mickey Mouse should be compared to.

    "There are these characters, like Mario and Link (from the Zelda games) and Sonic, and I don't know if it's true, but you've got to believe that those characters--who are three heads tall and cute and iconic--at some level were inspired by Mickey Mouse," Spector told CNET. "So why shouldn't Mickey be at the top of the gaming heap?"

    But behind the scenes, it seems that Disney wasn't as focused on targeting the traditional gaming market as Spector maintained.

    Last summer, Disney acquired social-gaming company Playdom. It didn't take long for Playdom CEO John Pleasants to take a leadership role at Disney. In October, the executive became co-president of Disney Interactive Media Group, alongside former Yahoo executive James Pitaro. They replaced Steve Wadsworth, who stepped down in September as head of the group, which handles all facets of the company's game exploits.

    For its part, Disney hasn't commented on how many people were laid off. The company said in an e-mailed statement to CNET today that "as part of setting a strategic direction for future success in the digital media space, the Disney Interactive Media Group yesterday began a restructuring process."


    Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20029439...l#ixzz1C5HGJC29
     
  2. TM2-Megatron

    TM2-Megatron Predacon Commander

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    So they're going to focus on shitty Facebook games and crappy little iTouch things? meh, I'll pass.
     
  3. _Chaz_

    _Chaz_ GBAtemp's Official Mook™

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    This doesn't make any sense.
    I believe that there were lay-offs, but I HIGHLY doubt that 50% of the staff has received the treatment.

    Seems like another move that was blown out of proportion.
     
  4. Nujui
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    Nujui I need something to do.

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    That's what I thought. I don't think that many people could have been lay-offed. Some sure, but not that many.
     
  5. dinofan01

    dinofan01 Misses the old days...

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    im not sure about 50% either. I know many were let go from junction point but im willing to bet that was planned well before Epic Mickey rapped. They most likely have only critical staff on pay roll until their next game concept is finalized. Why have hundreds of employees sitting there when theres no work to be done?
     
  6. injected11

    injected11 Crescent Fresh™

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  7. Fudge

    Fudge Remember that death is not the end, but only a tra

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    That sucks. Split/Second was awesome.
     
  8. Jolan

    Jolan Unlimited Bear Works

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    Aren't Disney getting enough money from having their characters in Kingdom Hearts games?
     
  9. dinofan01

    dinofan01 Misses the old days...

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    Something tells me you dont understand how business works..
     
  10. Livin in a box

    Livin in a box Livin' in a cardboard box

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  11. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Having had more than a few "back of cereal box" disney games in the past I can see how that might work.

    Before anyone says "it is just disney" do note they made some of the best platform games of the DOS and 16 bit era.

    On the other hand that was a long time ago.

    Hopefully those that now lack a job will land on their feet.

    "as part of setting a strategic direction for future success in the digital media space, the Disney Interactive Media Group yesterday began a restructuring process."
    Bravo Disney Interactive Media Group PR department, bravo.
     
  12. Pyrmon

    Pyrmon Burnin' Monkey Love

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    Link is three heads tall and cute? And he was inspired by Mickey mouse, apparently...
     
  13. TM2-Megatron

    TM2-Megatron Predacon Commander

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    Maybe Disney only owns Wind Waker.
     
  14. JinTrigger

    JinTrigger Asentrix Studios

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    I think that whole statement is bullshit....but that's just me.