Disney Interactive Lays Off 700 People

It’s been known since last month that Disney Interactive was planning to lay off several hundred employees, but the job slashing is far more extreme than had previously been anticipated. Today Disney Interactive announced that they would lay off 700 employees, or a quarter its Interactive workforce. “These are large-scale changes as we focus not just on getting to profitability but sustained profitability and scalability,” comfortably employed Disney Interactive president James A. Pitaro told the NY Times.

The division is “doubling down on mobile” while cutting its game output by more than 50%, relying more heavily on outside licensing, and shuttering sites like BabyZone.com and Spoonful.com. Disney Interactive, which has lost more than $1 billion in recent years, has been profitable during its last two quarters in large part because of its Infinity franchise.

More details about the layoffs can be found on the NY Times website.


  • Rufus Chickenplight

    It’s about all you could expect from the conglomerate.

  • Brittany

    Until last month’s article I wasn’t even aware of their strange online game sites like ‘city girl’, it makes me wonder how many other odd projects they were involved with. I was disappointed when Pixie Hollow was shut down, it seemed like something they could’ve improved into an awesome game. I hope they can someday grow back with better & more focused products for people to work on so they don’t have to lay off people. Disney owns so many wonderful fantasy worlds to expand on that it’s surprising when they can’t see their own potential.

  • Pedro Nakama

    This is strange because up to a week ago they were still posting job openings.

    • Funkybat

      Not uncommon. For some perverse reason, companies and divisions of companies that know they are “downsizing” or outright shutting their doors soon seem to maintain job postings, even putting up new ones within days or announcements of layoffs. Maybe it’s some kind of face-saving technique to prevent panic in the ranks (or the market.)

  • RS

    Is this a news article or an opinion piece? Why the commentary? It has no place in an article that is otherwise reporting facts. You have no idea the circumstance of DI presidents employment (and if you do then share those facts )but ultimately it still has no place in this news report unless there is larger commentary to be made but there is none. It comes across as contemptious for one of the largest if not the largest employer of animation related products not to mention inserts subjective opinion where none is warranted. (And ive been laid off for an extended period of time so i get how difficult it is for all those potentially out of work but i also appreciate that business comes first and someone has to manage it so i dont take it personally)

    • Funkybat

      New to The Brew, are we?

      Snarky editorial tone is SOP here.

  • Mesterius

    There’s still an actual “department” for hand-drawn animation at Disney? A department consisting of more people than Eric Goldberg?

    • Matt Norcross

      Yes. As I said before, they’re still doing hand-drawn animated shorts for theatres, and they’re also doing things regarding past hand-drawn animated films. However, they said there are currently no plans for a feature film using traditional animation at the moment, although they didn’t rule out the possibility of one someday.

      • Funkybat

        I’m not aware of any hand-drawn shorts in development for theatrical release. Are you thinking of those “new style” Mickey/Donald/Goofy shorts that have proven popular? Those are not in theaters as far as I know, and the animation is actually done by another studio, Mercury Filmworks in Canada.