John Pleasants takes charge of gaming as shift away from console gaming sees company stalwart depart

Hopper departs Disney Interactive

The long-term head of games Graham Hopper has left Disney Interactive, apparently as a result of the company’s tactical rethink of how it approaches the games sector.

Earlier this month Disney Interactive reported another quarter of losses and went on to hint that its focus going forwards will no longer be on console titles but instead on the emerging casual markets centred on smartphones and online.

This is demonstrated by Disney’s next move – former Playdom chief executive and current Disney Interactive co-president John Pleasants will now take charge of the company’s gaming operations.

“By putting John Pleasants in to run games, not only will he focus on turning those businesses into profitability, but diversifying our presence in the business, so we’re not reliant on one platform that’s obviously facing challenges,” chief executive Bob Iger (referring to the Wii) told analysts, as reported by the LA Times.

“It’s our goal not only to be profitable, but obviously to get there by shifting our investment.”

Disney launches Wii title Epic Mickey this Friday with hopes that it will perform better than recent flops Split/Second and Ultimate Band. The company also recently cancelled console project Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned.

Hopper said of his departure: “The time has come for me to move on from the company and set my sights on new horizons.”

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