Disney axes staff at US studio Avalanche

Disney axes staff at US studio Avalanche

By Rob Crossley

September 7th 2011 at 3:27PM

Around twenty jobs gone, source claims

As many as twenty developers have been made redundant at Utah-based studio Avalanche, according to reports, as part of a substantial cutback operation underway at Disney.

The Mickey Mouse media conglomerate has in the past year cut loose as many as 500 game dev jobs from its once-thriving development fleet.

Next in line for the axe is Avalanche, a US studio responsible for licence tie-in games such as toy Story 3. (Not to be confused with Swedish-based indies Avalanche, developer of the Just Cause series).

"Avalanche Software has completed a restructuring that resulted in the reduction of a small number of positions," a spokesperson told Gamasutra.
 
Yet an anonymous insider was more specific, explaining that as many as 20 people were let go from the studio on September 1st.

Around 170 employees now remain at Avalanche, the source estimated. The person also claimed to have been told that "budget issues" were the reason for the layoffs.

The cutback is the latest move in Disney’s sweeping reorganisation as it treads away from the retail triple-A games model.

Earlier in the year it shut down Tron developer Propaganda Games – a studio with enough staff to work on two projects simultaneously. There have also been reports of layoffs at Epic Mickey developer Junction Point.

Disney hadn’t revealed how many jobs it has made redundant, though a US newspaper recently pinned the number to “about 200 people”. A subsequent report suggested that Disney had axed closer to 350 game dev jobs.

Last week Disney shut down its UK studio Black Rock.