Disney is closing the FoxNext-owned game studio Fogbank Entertainment in San Francisco and laying off an estimated 60 people, GamesBeat has learned.
The move isn’t a surprise, as Disney sold most of FoxNext Games to mobile publisher Scopely as part of its strategy to focus on licensing games to external game companies to make games based on Disney and Fox properties. Fogbank was not included in the purchase. Disney declined to comment on the closure.
Disney acquired FoxNext Games, a relative newcomer among Hollywood studio game divisions, as part of its acquisition of Fox for $71 billion in March.
Fogbank Entertainment included former Kabam staff in San Francisco, and it shipped its first game, Storyscape, a story-based game where players make big choices. But the game didn’t get much traction. Measurement firm Sensor Tower reported it has had only about 1.7 million downloads since its debut.
The Fogbank office is closing in San Francisco. I don’t have an exact count on the number of jobs affected. My source tells me that some severance is being provided, but there are no plans to relocate people to the Scopely acquired FoxNext Games operation in Los Angeles.
FoxNext Games started the studio in March 2018. Fogbank’s leaders were studio director Daniel Erickson and executive producer Nathan Germick. At that time, the team had about 20 industry veterans, and it was planning to double to about 40 people. Erickson left the studio in October 2019. But as noted, I am told 60 jobs are affected.