Disney laid off about 250 people in the combined consumer products and interactive media division this week. And among those affected is the internal game studio in Bellevue, Washington, that built the Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2 mobile game for Disney.
It’s not clear how many additional people lost their jobs in the game division, but a Disney spokesman said that the layoffs came as a result of the combination last year of the Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive divisions during the past year. Dual functions in both groups, such as human resources and central technology, were among the positions hit.
Disney said earlier this month that it was shutting the Marvel: Avengers Alliance social game because of a dwindling audience and it was closing the Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2 mobile game because it didn’t meet expectations.
The mobile game layoffs come in the wake of Disney’s decision to shut Avalanche Software in Salt Lake City and end its Disney Infinity toys-to-life toy-game hybrid products. CastAR said today that it hired some of those people to make augmented reality games. I hear there’s more people still to be hired as a team from the Avalanche business.
Disney has shifted more of its game business to licensed titles, working with companies such as Kabam on titles like Marvel Contest of Champions and Electronic Arts on Star Wars: Battlefront. But it still has teams making internal games such as Star Wars Commander and Disney Emoji Blitz.
Meanwhile, Chris Heatherly, former head of Disney’s mobile games business, has left to take a job as executive vice president of worldwide games and digital platforms at NBCUniversal. And Kyle Laughlin, former senior vice president of product of Disney Labs, has taken over as head of mobile games at Disney.