Home Gaming Layoffs hit Machinima and Disney Interactive

Layoffs hit Machinima and Disney Interactive

2 min read

Sad sully and boo goodbye

I’m really not a fan of bad news. Just when I think things are looking up for the industry, we get news of closures and layoffs. This time, we knew about them in advance, but they’re a lot bigger than we thought. Never cool when people lose their jobs.

First up, we have Machinima. They instituted their third round of layoffs in a year and a half, sending 42 people packing. According to the company’s statement:

Machinima, Inc., the number one global video entertainment network for young males, today announced a restructuring in and around its sales organization in an effort to create greater focus internally on selling creative ad solutions and branded entertainment, while better leveraging its longstanding partnership with YouTube to drive media sales. In connection with this, the company is releasing 42 employees.

This is the largest cut the company has made thus far. Considering that estimated headcount at the end of last year was around 200, this is almost a 25% cut. Let’s hope that these talented people find other work, and quickly.

Meanwhile, we knew that there were rumors of layoffs coming to Disney Infinity, but the actual numbers are way higher than anticipated. With an even higher percentage than Machinima, Disney Interactive has cut 26% of their global workforce, amounting to 700 people losing their jobs.This is attributed primarily to the massive losses resulting from their expensive acquisition of social game company Playdom – they were hoping to cash in on the massive success of social games, but the casual market moved to mobile faster than anticipated. James Pitaro, president of the unit, said in an interview:

These are large-scale changes as we focus not just on getting to profitability but sustained profitability and scalability. We’re not exiting any businesses, and we will pursue licensing partnerships in which we retain a lot of creative input.

This probably won’t have a significant impact on the ridiculously lucrative Disney Infinity brand. But it will certainly impact Disney’s willingness to expand their gaming brands and develop new IP. Plus, it’s just pure bad news for those 700 people. If 26% of your workforce making social and hone games is 700 people, then your company is either bloated, mismanaged, or both. That social/casual gaming bubble looks set to burst at any instant. 

Last Updated: March 7, 2014


  1. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    March 7, 2014 at 11:12

    So sad. Sorry to all who lost their jobs.


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    March 7, 2014 at 11:14

    Please let it burst. Yes, it sucks for the people employed by it, but there’s also a reason why things change.


    • HvR

      March 7, 2014 at 11:21

      I’m with you on that, can not employ people if the business model market is deeply flawed and unhealthy


  3. Admiral Chief in Vegas

    March 7, 2014 at 11:21

    I HATE reading about ppl losing their jobs!


  4. Gerhard Davids

    March 7, 2014 at 11:30

    I’ve been hearing bad reports from people who have partnered with Machinima. Not sure if any of it is true but it might be part of the problem.


    • Admiral Chief in Vegas

      March 7, 2014 at 11:40

      What kind of reports?


      • Gerhard Davids

        March 7, 2014 at 11:48

        Things like not getting paid in due time and extremely bad support response times. On the other hand I believe that they have really great partnership perks with regards to media resources.


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