Disney game division posts $65 million quarterly loss

74% revenue bump from Split/Second and Toy Story 3 sales can't keep interactive media sector out of red; profits rise 40% company-wide.

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The past several years have seen the Walt Disney Company bulk up its interactive media group and its game-publishing label, Disney Interactive Studios. The company bought Black Rock Studio in September 2006 (when it was called Climax Racing) in order to get into the racing-game market with titles such as Split/Second, released May 18. The media giant is also bringing development of its own properties in house; Disney self-published Toy Story 3 in mid-June, the first Pixar title not to be published by THQ in years.

Sales of Split/Second increased Disney's game division profits, but couldn't keep it out of the red.
Sales of Split/Second increased Disney's game division profits, but couldn't keep it out of the red.

Today, Disney released its financial report for the three months ending July 3, revealing that both games had a big impact on its interactive media group's revenue. (The company did not give exact sales figures for either.) For the quarter, revenue was $197 million, a 75 percent jump from the $113 million it took in during the same period last year. The increase was less impressive for the nine months ending July 3, which saw interactive media revenues increase just 5 percent to $573 million.

Unfortunately, the lukewarmly reviewed Split/Second and Toy Story 3 couldn't keep Disney's game business out of the red. The interactive media group lost $65 million during the quarter, 13 percent less than the $75 million it lost the year prior. Nine-month losses for the division stood at $130 million, down from $181 million during the same period in 2009.

Overall, though, the Walt Disney company was in stellar shape financially. Company-wide revenues rose 16 percent year-over-year during the quarter to $10 billion. Net income--aka profit--saw an even steeper climb of 40 percent to $1.33 billion, thanks in part to its film division producing such blockbusters as Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3.

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