For more disheartening news, Disney is going to follow in DreamWorks’ footsteps and begin to layoff several of their employees.
Disney began their layoffs last year, when they closed the Austin, Texas- based studio, Junction Point (which is responsible for the game, Epic Mickey.)
The company is expecting to begin layoffs before the release of Disney’s second-quarter earnings on May 7th. It is rumored that the company’s movie studios will be hit hardest, especially in the areas of home entertainment, production, and marketing.
The shifting technologies and media are responsible for these layoffs, rather than the poor earnings that are forcing DreamWorks to layoff employees. Last year, Disney chief executive Bob Iger and chief financial officer Jay Rasulo, ordered an audit to identify areas of the company that are in need of reduction or that need to be revamped.
The home video division of the company has had decreasing sales of DVDs as the studio embraces more and more digital distribution platforms such as Netflix and iTunes, both of which have become increasingly profitable.
Disney is also beginning to rely more on producing films through their various studios such as Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm to fill their annual 8 to 11 releases a year. Disney has also begun a distribution deal with DreamWorks, and as a result, the number of projects that studio executives have produced has reduced.
On Wednesday, LucasArts, the interactive development section of Lucasfilm, laid off 150 employees in order to end its videogame production business. Instead, Disney wants the company to focus on creating movies.
Videogames in general are changing for Disney, as they move away from the usual platforms of TV/console games to making games for mobile and social media, as well as the games that need toys, which will be seen in their new game Disney Infinity.
For now, Iger is focusing on the company’s investment in theme parks, cruise lines, and acquisitions such as their latest purchase of Lucasfilm.
Never fear, Disney is hardly going under. In fact, this was one of their best years, their profits were up 18% or $5.7 billion in 2012. Iger just wants to focus on keeping the company up to date with the current technology.
It is just really depressing that the super-company has to layoff employees in order to do so.