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80 staff cut at Disney Interactive Media Group

Internet and games group loses more staff after latest review

The Disney Interactive Media Group is believed to have axed around 80 employees, 2 per cent of its staff, in another round of layoffs - although Disney has not confirmed the exact figures.

Website paidContent claims that co-president Jimmy Pitaro led the latest cuts, which follows the loss of around 200 employees in January. A combination of the two rounds of redundancy means that the company has lost 7 per cent of its 4000 strong workforce so far this year.

Although Disney has refused to release exact figures it has confirmed new "targeted" layoffs, instigated as part of "a strategic direction for future success in digital media".

Disney Interactive Media Group was created following the merger of the Walt Disney Internet Group and Disney Interactive Studios, so it is unclear exactly how many video game-related jobs, if any, have been affected.

Previously up to half of the 700 staff from Disney Interactive Studios were believed to have been made redundant, including the complete closure of Turok developer Propaganda Games and loses from Warren Spector's Junction Point studio.

There have been no reports that UK team Black Rock Studio has been affected, although the studio has not announced any new titles since last year's Split/Second.

According to paidContent the new wave of redundancies is intended to be the last, as Disney continues its focus on profitability and a more scalable division.

Traditional console products are no longer a priority at the company though, with the departure of Steve Wadsworth last September and the appointment of Playdom executive John Pleasants as co-president of the group.

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David Jenkins

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