Disney merges games and Internet

Citing an evolving market, the media multinational merges divisions behind Pirates of the Caribbean Online, Turok, and Hannah Montana.


Today it has been confirmed that Disney will be merging its Internet Group with games publisher Disney Interactive Studios to form the Disney Interactive Media Group. Web site PaidContent.org broke the news, which came from an internal memo from Disney CEO Bob Iger.

Iger wrote, "As console and handheld games become more connected to the Internet, and as Internet and mobile become increasingly robust destinations for games and a range of interactive entertainment, we are taking this opportunity to integrate these activities."

The new division will be headed up by Steve Wadsworth, who previously led the now-defunct Walt Disney Internet Group. He will be assisted by the former executive vice president and general manager of Disney Interactive Studios, Graham Hopper. The existing management teams will continue to run the combined group.

Disney Interactive games include Disney Friends, Disney's Meet the Robinsons, Hannah Montana, Ratatouille, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. The Walt Disney Internet Group worked on titles such as Pirates of the Caribbean Online.

This isn't the first time that Disney's games division has had a name change--it was founded in 1988 as Walt Disney Computer Software, then in 1996 became Disney Interactive. In 2003, the decision was made to "diversify its portfolio" and distance itself from the Disney brand and become Buena Vista Games. Then in 2007, it remerged the two divisions it had set up in 2003--Buena Vista Interactive and Disney Interactive--and became Disney Interactive Studios.

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