We knew this was happening, but that still did not prepare us for the scale. Disney is laying off 700 employees from Disney Interactive, which encompasses both their gaming and internet divisions.
Disney Interactive President James A. Pitaro released this statement to the New York Times:
These are large-scale changes as we focus not just on getting to profitability but sustained profitability and scalability.
As we already know, Disney’s plans to rally back include focusing on Infinity and scaling back on their studios, including Playdom. Now, it’s been made clear they are consolidating their mobile and social games divisions, and going the Star Wars approach for all their IPs, opening it up for other studios to license. They’re cutting down on the games they make by half.
Among the gaming studios affected are Wideload Studios in Chicago and Studio EX in Korea, which are both shutting down. We wish the best of luck to the developers affected.
As part of the Disney Interactive layoffs/consolidation, the company is shutting down Wideload Games in Chicago & Studio EX in South Korea.
— Daniel Miller (@DanielNMiller) March 6, 2014