from Disney CEO Bob Iger has revealed that Disney has combined its Interactive Studios operation with its MMO and mobile unit Walt Disney Internet Group, our sister site Develop
Called the Disney Interactive Media Group, and unified effective immediately, the move comes to "take advantage of rapid advancements in interactive digital media across all platforms as well as the convergence of connected console, Internet and mobile-based games", Iger said in the communique with Disney staff.
Steve Wadsworth, former head of the Walt Disney Internet Group will step up to lead this new combined business, working with current Interactive Studios head Graham Hopper to "optimize new opportunities" the doubled-up team up creates.
The move makes sense, and comes at an ideal time - previously the Internet group's offering, which includes Disney's mobile games development efforts and its booming youth-orientated MMO Club Penguin, seemed a little distanced from the traditional boxed-product produced by Disney Interactive Studios' teams. And there was some, seemingly uncoordinated, overlap such as the differing Pirates of the Carribbean console, mobile and MMO titles.
Plus, Disney will now be able to report its interactive entertainment revenues in one big lump - as console games would now be separate from 'home entertainment' goods like DVD - when it comes to communicating with shareholders. This would help further prove that its vast investment in games (a topic touted by both of the divisions before being merged) is paying off, and that the company is competing correctly in the digital age.
The rest of Iger's memo can be found here.