Disney, Junction Point hit by layoffs

Staff culled at Mouse House's game studio, Epic Mickey shop according to inside sources and online reports.


Last week, Disney Interactive Studios closed Propaganda Games, the studio behind the Turok reboot and Tron: Evolution. According to the Vancouver Sun, the move displaced approximately 70 people, which represented the remainder of Propaganda's staff after the cancellation of Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned shut down one of its two dev teams.

Mass layoffs were reported at Disney today, including its Junction Point studio.
Mass layoffs were reported at Disney today, including its Junction Point studio.

Today, according to online reports and inside sources, the company initiated a second round of layoffs. Sources inside Disney Interactive Studios said an undisclosed number of staffers at its parent, Disney Interactive Media Group, were give the pink slip today. Attempts to get official comment from the studio on the scope of the layoffs were unsuccessful as of press time, but CNBC reports that the layoffs could affect as much as half the game division's entire staff of 700.

Disney also had not commented on reports that Epic Mickey developer Junction Point Studios also met with staff redundancies today. A tweet from developer Bryan Cash, a developer at nearby Austin, Texas, studio Schell Games, said "condolences to those folks laid off from Junction Point." Ironically, the game was a success domestically, reportedly selling 1.3 million units during its first month on the market.

Today's layoffs come just over five months after Disney's game division posted a $65 million quarterly loss--three months after it posted a $55 million loss. It also comes approximately six months after the media multinational spent $563 million acquiring game-maker Playdom as part of an expansion into the casual market. In October, Playdom CEO John Pleasants became co-president of the Disney Interactive Media Group.

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