Disney lays off 250

After retreating from console space, company makes cuts to mobile teams; Marvel: Avengers Alliance studio impacted

Disney is continuing its retreat from the frontlines of the games industry. As reported by the New York Times, Disney yesterday laid off 250 employees of its consumer products and digital unit.

The cuts included a number of game developers, particularly those at the Bellevue, Washington studio that had been working on Marvel: Avengers Alliance. The company announced earlier this month that the mobile and social network game and its sequel would both be shut down, explaining, "we feel it's best to focus our energy and resources into making new games and digital experiences for our fans and community."

In addition to the development jobs lost, some of the layoffs were fallout from last year's merger of the consumer products and interactive media business into the same division. A Disney spokesman told the paper the layoffs on the gaming side were a continuation of the company's shift toward creating games as a licensing partner rather than developing them internally.

In May, Disney cut 300 jobs and shut down its Avalanche studio as it canned the Disney Infinity toys-to-life franchise. At the time it said it was withdrawing from console game development.

While profits for the consumer products and interactive media division have been shrinking for the last two quarters, that group has still posted operating income of $1.54 billion over the first three quarters of this fiscal year.

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