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Alex Seropian to lead Disney game studios

Thu 27 Jan 2011 8:56am GMT / 3:56am EST / 12:56am PST
PeoplePublishing

Around two hundred redundancies on Monday, but more job losses likely, say sources

Details of this week's layoffs at Junction Point and other Disney assets have been made a little clearer, with the firm putting Wideload founder and Halo co-creator Alex Seropian in charge of all development teams.

Seropian will oversee Disney Interactive's remaining game studios: Blackrock, Junction Point, Avalanche, Wideload and Gamestar, indicating at least some remaining presence in the core market for Disney.

Club Penguin creator Lane Merrifield will take on increased responsibility for children and family games, whilst Adam Sussman, hired from EA Mobile this week, will head up a strategic marketing group.

According to the LA Times, new details indicate that around 200 people lost their jobs on Monday, somewhat less than was originally indicated by reports. However, sources told the paper that it was likely that these job losses were merely the first wave of cuts as the company sought to regain a profit-making footing.

"Reorganisations require very difficult decisions and this one is no different," read an email to employees from co-presidents John Pleasants and James Pitaro. "We must continuously evaluate our structure and organisation and its needs in order to make Disney's digital content and businesses even more robust and successful."

Disney's apparent reorganisation towards casual and social titles after its brief and expensive foray into the core games market began with the acquisition of Playdom for $763 million in July, 2010.

So far, the restructuring has seen executive reshuffling and, more worryingly, the loss of several jobs and the closure of Tron: Evolution developer Propaganda Games earlier this month.

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