Report: Disney game unit laying off hundreds of people

Wall Street Journal sources say House of Mouse readying a round of significant layoffs for next week; Disney Infinity reportedly getting Star Wars and Marvel toy sets.

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Disney Interactive, the media giant's game unit, is going to lay off "several hundred people" beginning next week, sources told The Wall Street Journal today. This bad news comes despite a strong launch of Disney Infinity, the company's Skylanders-style toys-to-life game that has sold more than 3 million Starter Packs so far and helped Disney Interactive post a profit last quarter.

The job cuts are expected to begin after Disney reports earnings next Wednesday. Disney Interactive currently employs around 3,000 people and the cuts are expected to impact social-gaming studio Playdom, which Disney bought in 2010 for $563 million.

The company's Interactive division also operates Disney.com and develops Disney's various mobile games.

Disney Interactive president Jimmy Pitaro, who took over for John Pleasants after he was "pushed out" last year, said he plans to reorganize the group, according to an internal memo obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

The supposed forthcoming job cuts at Disney Interactive won't affect Disney Infinity, however, as one source added that toy sets based on Marvel and Star Wars characters are in the works.

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