Disney Interactive Lays Off 700 Employees
Gamers are a fickle bunch. Remember when you couldn't scroll through Facebook without being notified about a friend's FarmVille corn yield?
The rise of mobile games such as Candy Crush has left social gaming companies struggling to adapt, including Disney Interactive, the video game and digital media subsidiary of Walt Disney Co. On Thursday, the long beleaguered division laid off 700 employees, about 26 percent of its workforce.
The layoffs were a result of Disney's decision to combine its profitable mobile gaming business, based in Japan, with its unprofitable social gaming business, The New York Times reported.
Related: The Keys to Candy Crush's Success
“This is a doubling down on mobile and an effort to focus much more intently on a core set of priorities,” James A. Pitaro, the president of the unit said. “At the same time we are reducing our focus in some areas, we are making strategic investments in others, and the Japan business is one."
The announced move away from social gaming, with a renewed emphasis on mobile games, is a trend other game developers are making in an effort to stay relevant.
On Monday, Zynga announced that the soft launch of its "FarmVille 2: Country Escape" game for iOS and Android phones and tablets will take place this month as the company attempts to reposition itself as a mobile gaming developer.
"Did the company miss a beat with the transition to mobile? Absolutely. Are we fixing that? Yes, we are," Zynga's CEO Don Mattrick said in an interview.