Layoffs hit Disney, Epic Mickey developers

Just last week, we reported on the demise of Propaganda Games, and it seems they’re not the only Disney developer hit with layoffs and studio changes. Today, several more studios have been affected – the most high-profile of those being Junction Point Studios, creators of Disney Epic Mickey.

Nobody’s yet revealed how many Disney employees have been advised not to come in tomorrow, but the number’s predicted to be “over 300”.

Disney Epic Mickey Concept Art

Disney Epic Mickey - the last of a dying breed?

Warren Spector, founder of Junction Point is apparently still employed at the studio, who refused to comment on the situation.

It’s been an interesting progression for Disney in the video games industry. The company acquired social games developer Playdom last July. Since then, in-house games development has taken a noticeably “social” turn, and various executives have left the company. Disney‘s Interactive Media Group President, Steve Wadsworth resigned late last year. He was replaced by Playdom CEO John Pleasants, who has since stepped up into the position of general manager of Disney Game Studios following the resignation of Graham Hopper in November. If you think these things aren’t connected, it is alleged that Hopper was responsible for approving Propaganda‘s last project, Tron: Evolution, and Disney‘s last big title, Disney Epic Mickey.

Social and casual games may be the future for Disney, but I’m not sure it’s any better than the movie-tie-in titles they used to release.

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