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Hopper out as Disney restructure continues

Long-serving games exec departs as company continues to shift to digital rather than boxed product

Long-serving Disney games exec Graham Hopper is to leave the company as it continues to focus on digital rather than boxed product.

Hopper had been with the company since 1992 and was made head of the games division in 2001. He was responsible for leading a change from licensing product to creating new IP, such as Black Rock's Split/Second and Junction Point's Epic Mickey.

But earlier this month Disney boss Bob Iger said the business was shifting away from traditional boxed retail to focus on digital products - this year it bought Playdom and Tapulous as part of that drive.

"It's our goal not only to be profitable, but obviously to get there by shifting our investment and reducing our investment too," said Iger of Disney's interactive business.

"We probably will end up investing less on the console side than we have because of the shift we're seeing in consumption and have a presence, albeit with probably less investment, in terms of game manufacturing on some of the newer platforms."

Playdom CEO John Pleasants was appointed co-president of Disney Interactive Media Group, a month ahead of full-year results that showed another loss for the games segment.

In October this year Disney axed around 100 staff from its Propaganda studio and cancelled a Pirates of the Caribbean game, putting the remaining staff to work on movie tie-in Tron and its downloadable content.

"The time has come for me to move on from the company and set my sights on new horizons," said Hopper in an email to staff, according to the LA Times.

Stephen Wadsworth, previously president of Disney Interactive Media, also left the company this year.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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