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Layoffs At Utah-Based Disney Avalanche
Layoffs At Utah-Based Disney Avalanche
September 7, 2011 | By Kris Graft

Disney Interactive Studios laid off a number of employees last week from its Salt Lake City, Utah-based Avalanche studio, developer of Cars 2: The Video Game, Gamasutra can confirm.

Approximately 15-20 people were let go from the studio on September 1, according to a laid-off worker who requested anonymity. The developer also created the movie tie-in title Toy Story 3.

A Disney rep confirmed the layoffs in a statement: "Avalanche Software has completed a restructuring that resulted in the reduction of a small number of positions."

The layoffs are just the latest at Disney Interactive Studios, as its parent company changes focus from console-based retail games to online and social titles. Reports earlier this year stated that a significant amount of employees within Disney Interactive were let go.

Gamasutra's source estimated the number of remaining Avalanche employees to be around 170, and stated that "budget issues" were to blame. "Disney has been on the losing end for a while, supposedly," the source said.

Disney acquired Avalanche in May 2005. The studio was founded in 1995, merging with Disney's Fall Line team in 2009. Avalanche has developed games based on Disney IP including Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, Hannah Montana Spotlight World Tour and Bolt.

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Jorge Gonzalez Sanchez
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Why does disney even bother to spend money in studios just to ram them into the ground?

Seriously... is it good business or something?

Kale Menges
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One has to wonder what their intentions are as they buy studios up left and right only to turn around and shutter them... How long until they shut down UTV?

Jon Solmos
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I strongly agree with Jorge and Kale (the previous comments) If Disney doesn't have the financial resources or commitment to keep a studio afloat during tough economic times then why bother buying or investing in a studio? Companies that do this need to think about the people that they are laying off as PEOPLE not as numbers or as ways to "reduce budget". Here's an idea - why doesn't a company (in this example, Disney) think about reducing the salaries of some or all of upper management when they are in a financial crisis? A reduction of 5% of someone making 200k is $10,000. There are many in upper management that make much more than this. Add all this up and you would be able to save the jobs that these PEOPLE are losing. I guess it boils down to the people in upper management not wanting to do this because they feel more deserving of their salaries and less caring for the people that are losing their jobs. I am really starting to believe that unionizing some or all of the gaming industry is a smart move.