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Disney's Maker Studios lays off around 80

Former PewDiePie outfit also slashing its YouTube partner program from 60,000 to just 300 large, family friendly creators

The upheaval around Disney's Maker Studios continues this week, as the Wall Street Journal reports that the multi-channel network is laying off about 80 people, and plans to downsize its YouTube partner program from more than 60,000 creators to just 300.

The paper cites a person close to the company with the information, and notes that these moves were in the works even before the recent scandal that prompted Maker to drop its best-known YouTube creator, Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg, for repeated anti-Semitic jokes.

In culling its massive roster of YouTube creators, Maker will prioritize two qualities. First, they will need to be established stars with large followings. Second, their material will need to be family friendly enough to match with the rest of Disney's corporate culture.

Disney acquired Maker Studios in 2014 for $500 million, with performance bonuses eventually hiking the price up to $675 million.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry International in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at CBS-owned GameSpot in the US.

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