Several hundred people will lose their jobs at Disney Interactive as part an effort to make the division profitable. The cuts within the approximately 3,000 employee division are expected to begin as early as tomorrow when Disney releases its quarterly financial results, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The biggest staff reductions are expected to be in DI’s online gaming platform Playdom, a bizarro division that produced titles inconsistent with the Disney brand like Disney City Girl and the decidely non-family Mobsters: Criminal Empire, which encourages players to “amass an army to smash up friends and strangers in player vs. player battles.” Playdom was acquired by Disney in 2010 for $563 million. Other unit shut down by Disney Interactive in recent years include LucasArts and and Junction Point Studios, which produced the underperforming Epic Mickey game series.
Disney Interactive will shift its focus to Disney Infinity, which is essentially a collectible toy line disguised as a video game. The company has sold over 3 million Infinity starter packs since releasing the game last summer, and Star Wars and Marvel-based Infinity lines are currently in development. The DI unit also produces the company’s websites including Disney.com, mobile games such as the popular Where’s My Water?, and apps like Disney Animated.