Disney's game business surges, but layoffs are on the horizon

Disney Infinity helped revenues jump 38 percent to $403 million, while "hundreds" are expected to lose their jobs beginning this week.

Disney's video game business is booming, but layoffs loom on the horizon.

The media giant announced today that Disney Interactive revenue increased 38 percent to $403 million for the quarter ended December 28, while operating income increased $46 million to $55 million. The uptick in sales was attributed to the success of Disney Infinity and growth from Disney's Japanese mobile business.

Disney Interactive performed better, on a percentage basis, than all of the company's other divisions by a significant margin. Its 38 percent revenue surge was better than Studio Entertainment (23 percent), Consumer Products (11 percent), Parks & Resorts (6 percent), and Media Networks (4 percent).

During an earnings call this afternoon, Disney CEO Bob Iger said (via The Wall Street Journal) that future iterations of Disney Infinity will include a "broader set of our more popular characters," believed to be Star Wars and Marvel characters.

It's not all good news, however, as The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that Disney Interactive will cut "hundreds" of jobs beginning as soon as today. Disney has yet to confirm the news, but The Wall Street Journal's sources have been accurate before.

Overall, Disney posted revenue of $12.3 billion (+9 percent) for the quarter and a profit of $1.8 billion (+33 percent).

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

36 comments
hadlee73
hadlee73

Had this weird mental image of hundreds of sad-looking brooms slowly walking out of Disney HQ with their final payslips.

Gill2000
Gill2000

"operations expected to be hit by the layoffs is the struggling Playdom social-gaming business...Disney is expected to continue investing in "Infinity,"



According to the article the layoffs are unrelated to Infinity

molenator7
molenator7

I love this game But with disney its all about money$. Just look how much 1 character is its anywhere from $12-$14. Other then that i love this game so much

isv666
isv666

Unfortunately this is such a regular thing in the video game industry (and a few others).  And it's something that needs to change.  Not only does it turn off potentially great contributors from the industry, but it also causes inconsistency in products and quality.

nurnberg
nurnberg

Isn't Disney known to pay their workers complete garbage in their theme parks?  Like minimum wage.  Meanwhile they make billions.  This is sickening.

danielheywood
danielheywood

I'm glad the Disney Infinity series is still going to be continued.


At M$, they would say: DEAL WITH IT.

Xx_DemonSoul_xX
Xx_DemonSoul_xX

Welcome to the House of Mouse. Where greed, corruption, and overall stupidity  have come to live.

Hurvl
Hurvl

Oh, just the way it's supposed to be: Revenue is increasing and staff is decreasing, because we can't have both increasing at the same time, can we? One has to be at the expense of the other.

limbo12
limbo12

The rich MUST have their profits at all costs. Workers are expendable assets and will be tossed aside at a moment's notice. Maybe these soon-to-be-fired employees should band together and make a game about combating the dehumanizing capitalist system; now that would be worth playing.

dogfather76
dogfather76

Almost any business in the arts hires people on a project by project basis. Film making, television, and theater are no different. While it's unfortunate that people are "losing" their jobs, don't think that those people are so naive that they didn't know what they are getting into. Most of them will have no problem attaching themselves onto another project to work on, especially if they are good at what they do.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

Dear developers and staff,

Thank you for giving us a fantastic year and making our revenue climb sky high. To maximize profits we are gonna to screw you over and fire your sorry asses for being stupid enough to work for us in the first place. Oh and no it has nothing to do with the president of our company.


-Disney

GalvatronType_R
GalvatronType_R

Aaaaaand this is why a person with excellent programming, artistic, graphics, writing, or audio skills would be crazy to join the game industry.


They'd be best served to get another profession that pays better, has more stability, a better work/life balance, better benefits, and treats them with more respect.

Talavaj
Talavaj

Sweet economy where poor people make rich people richer. Yeey, capitalism !

straightcur
straightcur

Thanks for all the hard work guys, and increasing our profits.  But you're fired.  Now I can go cash my huge bonus hehehe

Breyant
Breyant

Profits soaring, time for layoffs. Pretty standard business practice...

Slim_Lyrics
Slim_Lyrics

Announce record profits and then put hundreds out of work. The Disney way of doing business.

Talok
Talok

This makes me sick! What better way to reward the hard work of your employees that had paid off by firing them and giving the profits to the upper management. Fuck you Disney, fuck you.

berzerk0912
berzerk0912

Anything to protect the corporate pig's yearly bonus. Gotta have those diamond encrusted jets.

Jd1680a
Jd1680a

Increasing profit is a way to make shareholders happy, no matter how it is done.

playstationzone
playstationzone

Disney another evil company to work with just like EA Games and Activevision and Disney get layoffs and get more money  for them selves .

virtualskill
virtualskill

F U Disney. You don't reward good working people this way. It's not like you're hurting for money.

surrealme
surrealme

The joys of being a game developer, artist, animator, movie VFX worker, etc. Once your product has shipped it's "thanks for your hard work, now get your shit and get out!" Ah corporations. Such bastions of civility and good will.

xcollector
xcollector

This is so typical of the current economy.  Companies post profits and then get rid of their workers.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

@GalvatronType_RUnfortunately that's the way it is unless you join a studio that has a consistent throughput of titles.  Disney's games division isn't such a studio.  With all the job cuts I would have to assume that they're going to lay off game making and focus on content creation for at least the foreseeable future.  You don't need that many people if you're just doing content for Infinity and mobile games.  Creating Infinity itself... yeah, you do.

I think QA testing for games is the bottom of the barrel as far as stability goes... other than maybe writing as that should be independent of actual development work in most cases.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@Talavaj Wouldn't happen if the entire programming  community up and left. Let those temp devs companies fall apart. After their companies go under then they will make contracts with them for something a bit more permanent.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Jd1680a Yeah, it sometimes seems as the ends justify the means.

divinejester
divinejester

@xcollector Actually its not the current economy. In the video game industry in general its always been the trend to cut jobs after success at least for the last 15 years or so, not that it makes it a palatable situation.

dogfather76
dogfather76

You're welcome naive little boy who can only understand an article at its face value.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@jinzo9988 @GalvatronType_R But don't you see that is what is going to ruin the gaming developers. The crews they hire will demand more money because they figure they will be fired after the job. If I know I am going to be a temp from the onset then I will sure as hell demand more money.. starting to see why devs saying triple A titles aren't profitable.

yboucher
yboucher

@divinejester @xcollector  It's not just the video games industry, FAR from it. It IS the current economy.  You just have been looking at games and nowhere else, i guess.

dogfather76
dogfather76

As does your simple-minded understanding of the business.

yboucher
yboucher

@Kinguard73 @jinzo9988 @GalvatronType_R (not directly targeted at you as a reply)  

And yet developers are being called lazy, ignorant, evil, and so on, by the very people of this board.  You might say  "oh but we're attacking EA, or Disney, as a corporate monolith!"  But guess what, that monolith is 90% made up of insanely hard-working people.