Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Second Time, Still No Charm

Mit Add On!

In the nineties, Diz Co. closed its video game studio, located in Glendale. History now (kind of) repeats itself.

Walt Disney Co. has shut down the Texas game studio behind "Epic Mickey," the Burbank media giant's unsuccessful attempt to reinvent Mickey Mouse for the interactive age.

Disney confirmed Tuesday that it has shuttered Austin-based Junction Point. A spokeswoman declined to confirm how many staffers have lost their jobs, but on a recruiting trip to a college in 2011, the studio reportedly claimed to have about 140 employees. ...

2010's "Epic Mickey" performed relatively well, but 2012's sequel has been a flop, according to two people close to the game. ...

It's a tricky market niche in which to succeed, and thus far the Mouse doesn't appear to be a winner. As I've said before, TAG aided California employees who were slipped the axe during Disney's last shutdown of a game studio.

Add On: So. It wasn't just the Austin Studio that got it in the neck.

Walt Disney Co.'s video game division laid off about 50 staffers Tuesday from several locations on the same day that it closed the Austin, Texas, studio that produced its "Epic Mickey" titles.

The layoffs were separate from the people who lost their jobs at Austin-based Junction Point, according to a knowledgeable person not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Disney's Interactive Media unit, which also includes online content, has shed jobs recently as it attempts to meet Chief Executive Robert Iger's publicly stated goal of achieving profitability in its current fiscal year. ...

And so it goes.


Unknown said...

The good thing is it means no more epic mickey--a really lame, ugly game. It looks like the side of a bad airbrushed van from 1977.

Floyd Norman said...

I started working with Disney's game people back in the eighties. They were clueless then and it appears nothing has changed.

These talented young people simply don't get Disney and I doubt they ever will.

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