Disney Interactive headquarters in Glendale, California.
|Disney Interactive (1995–2008, 2012-2016)|
Disney Interactive Media Group (2008–2012)
|Industry||Video game industry|
|Fate||Merged into Disney Consumer Products as a business segment.|
|Predecessors|| Disney Interactive Studios |
Walt Disney Internet Group
|Successor||Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media|
Number of locations
|US$-308 million (2011)|
Number of employees
|2,000 (March 2014)|
|Parent|| Disney Parks, Experiences and Products |
(The Walt Disney Company)
|Subsidiaries||Disney Online, Inc.|
Disney Games and Interactive Experiences, originally established as Disney Interactive, Disney Interactive Media Group and Walt Disney Internet Group, is an American company that oversees various websites and interactive media owned by The Walt Disney Company and its subsidiaries.
The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Walt Disney or simply Disney, is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.
In December 1994, Disney announced that it was establishing a new division dedicated to publishing computer and video game console software, called Disney Interactive.The initial staff consisted of 200 newly hired employees. The company was formally established in mid-1995. On August 23, 1995, Disney Interactive formed Disney Online.
A video game console is a computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game that one or more people can play.
Disney purchased a one-third share of Starwave on April 3, 1997, for $100 million.In January 1998, Disney registered go.com. Exercising its options, Disney purchased the outstanding shares of Starwave from Paul Allen in April 1998. In June 1998, Disney purchased 43% ownership of Infoseek in exchange for Starwave and $70 million. Infoseek and Disney Online joint ventured in developing the Go Network, an internet portal. With Disney's purchase of the remainder of Infoseek in July 1999, the Go Network, Infoseek, the Disney Catalog, Disney Online (Disney.com and DisneyStore.com), ABC News Internet Ventures and ESPN Internet Ventures and Buena Vista Internet Group are merged into the Go.com company.
Starwave was a Seattle, Washington-based software and website company, founded in 1993 by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and led by CEO Mike Slade. The company produced original CD-ROM titles, including titles for Clint Eastwood, Sting, and Peter Gabriel. They were the original developers of Castle Infinity, the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game for children, but Starwave's most lasting mark was in the area of web content sites. They developed ESPN.com, ABCNEWS.com, Outside Online, and Mr. Showbiz.com among other sites, setting the standard for much of the commercial Internet explosion of the late 1990s. Starwave also developed the first site and publishing system for Jim Cramer's TheStreet.com.
Go.com is a landing page for Disney content, created as a joint venture between Infoseek and Disney Interactive. It is currently operated by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, a division of The Walt Disney Company. It began as a web portal launched by Jeff Gold. Go.com includes content from ABC News which is associated with Disney and is hosted under a .go.com name. Along with Time Warner's Pathfinder.com, Go.com proved to be an expensive failure for its parent company, as web users preferred to use search engines to access content directly, rather than start at a top-level corporate portal. In 2013, the site was transitioned from a portal to a simple landing page.
Paul Gardner Allen was an American business magnate, investor, researcher, humanitarian, and philanthropist. He co-founded Microsoft alongside Bill Gates in 1975, which helped spark the microcomputer revolution and later became the world's largest PC software company. In March 2018, Allen was estimated to be the 44th-wealthiest person in the world according to the Forbes annual list of the world's billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $21.7 billion, revised at the time of his death to $20.3 billion.
In August 1996, BVIG took a controlling in interest in toysmart.com with three directors on the board. Toysmart would be granted marketing support including free advertising on BVIG websites like family.com.After an attempted round of financing, Toysmart.com shut down in May 2000.
In June 1999, the Disney Internet Guide is abandoned.The Go.com portal was shut down in 2001 at a cost of $878 million in charges.
In 2004, Disney re-activated the Starwave identity as Starwave Mobile, which publishes casual games for mobile phones for non-Disney brands with in Disney conglomerate or from third party.In December 2004 and partnered with Indiagames, the Walt Disney Internet Group released Disney games, wallpapers and ringtones in the Indian market which is also available on AirTel.
The group purchased Living Mobile, a European mobile game developer and publisher in November 2005.
On June 5, 2008, Disney Interactive Studios and the Walt Disney Internet Group merged into a single business unit, now known as the Disney Interactive Media Group.In 2009, DIMG's Disney Online unit purchased multiple websites from Kaboose.
In July 2010, Disney Interactive purchased Playdom for $563.2 millionand Tapulous for its Mobile division. On July 1, Disney Interactive announced it had acquired Tapulous, the studio behind the Tap Tap Revenge franchise for iOS. In October, two co-presidents were named for DIMG, John Pleasants and James Pitaro, with orders to make the company profitable.
In January 2011, DIMG closed its Propaganda Games game studio and laid off 200 employees later in the month. The dual presidents placed the game studios of Blackrock, Junction Point, Avalanche, Wideload and Gamestar under its new game development chief Alex Seropian while Penguin creator Lane Merrifield was assigned to game initiatives for kids and families within a new publishing unit to handle marketing and production.On February 18, DIMG purchased Togetherville, a pre-teen social network. Also in February, Disney purchased Finland-based Rocket Pack, a game development company with a plugin free game development system. In November, DIMG purchased Babble Media Inc.
In April 2012, the Group announced three web series targeted towards mothers: "Moms of", "That's Fresh", and "Thinking Up."By October, DIMG had 15 consecutive quarters of losses totaling some $977 million. Lane Merrifield, the founder of Club Penguin, resigned after conflict with Pleasants. DIMG also in October announced "Toy Box", a cross platform gaming initiative where Pixar and Disney characters will interact from a console game to multiple mobile and online applications.
In May 2012, Disney Interactive Media Group changed its name to Disney Interactive (DI).[ citation needed ]
In January 2013, Disney Interactive Games' Avalanche Software unveiled the Toy Box cross platform game as Disney Infinity , based on Toy Story 3: The Video Game's "Toy Box" mode crossed with a toy line.Also in January, Disney Interactive announced the closure of Junction Point Studios.
In October 2013, Disney announced that its Interactive division had a profit of $16 million for its fourth quarter, based partly on sales of Disney Infinity and uniting both halves of the division under one president.
In March 2014, Disney Interactive announced it was laying off 700 people, or one-fourth of its staff as DI combines its two-game units, mobile and social, due to sagging popularity of Facebook games, and closing some Disney Online sites. They said will focus less on advertising and more on sponsorships for Disney Online and licensed game development. While some endeavors have shown profitability, such as an app in Japan and the combined game and toy line Infinity, the segment as a whole is unprofitable for Disney.
Disney Interactive was merged with Disney Consumer Products on June 29, 2015, forming a new segment and division known as "Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media", with Disney Interactive as a direct unit.In December 2015, Maker Studios was placed under the control of Disney Interactive with the appointment of Maker's executive vice president Courtney Holt, reporting to Jimmy Pitaro, president of Disney Interactive.
With a lack of growth in toy-to-game market and increasing developmental costs, in May 2016, Disney Interactive discontinued Disney Infinity and closed down the unit that developed Infinity, Avalanche Software. Also, the company ended all self-publishing efforts. A discontinuation charge of $147 million for ending its console gaming business affected earning.
In September 2018, Disney confirmed the imminent discontinuation of Club Penguin Island in a letter sent to its Disney Online Studios team in Kelowna, as well as the layoffs of most employees in said studio.
In November 2018, Disney agreed to have Jam City take over operation of its Glendale-based Disney Interactive Studios, sell them Emoji Blitz and development of future Pixar and Walt Disney Animation franchises games. Staff at the studio would be offered jobs with Jam City working of the Disney titles.
|Founded||August 23, 1995|
Disney Online is a division of Disney Interactive that operates most of Disney online portfolio.
On August 23, 1995, Disney Interactive formed Disney Online unit with the naming of Jake Winebaum as president of Disney Online.On November 19, 1996, the opening of DisneyStore.com was open under Disney Online business unit. The family.com website is launched on December 9, 1996.
Disney announced on April 18, 1997 that it will purchase Starwave's Family Planet Web site and merge it with Family.com.The Disney Daily Blast (dailyblast.com) web site is official launched on April 23 under a subscription plan and daily content targeted to younger viewers with Microsoft Network marketing and distributing for an exclusive 10-month period.
In July 1998, Disney Online announced dig.com, Disney Internet Guide, a child friendly web directorywhich launched in June 1998 and closed one year later in June to focus on Infoseek/Go Network.
In late 2007, DIMG purchased IParenting Media's websites.Disney sold movies.com to Fandango in June 2008. Disney Online purchased in 2008 Take 180 from Chris Williams, who stays on until April 2012 as vice president and general manager of Disney Online Originals, which has Take 180 as creative hub. In 2009, DIMG's Disney Online unit purchased from Kaboose multiple websites including: Kaboose.com, Babyzone.com, AmazingMoms.com, Funschool.com and Zeeks.com, and place them into its Disney Family Network. Disney.com purchased Kerpoof in February 2009.
In November 2011, DIMG purchased Babble Media Inc. to add it to the Mom and Family Portfolio.In March 2014, Disney Interactive announced it was laying off 700 people, or one-fourth of its staff as DI closed smaller Disney Online sites including BabyZone.com and Spoonful.com. They said will focus less on advertising and more on sponsorships for Disney Online to fit the experience Disney wishes to offer.
Castle Infinity was the first commercially launched MMOG for children. It was launched by Starwave Corporation in 1996, and featured personalized avatars, an embedded message system and live chat in a 2D side scrolling game world. It survives as a freeware MMOG.
The Disney Store is an international chain of specialty stores selling only Disney related items, many of them exclusive, under its own name and Disney Outlet. Disney Store is a business unit of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
Infoseek was a popular internet search engine founded in 1994 by Steve Kirsch.
Disney Interactive Studios, Inc. was an American video game developer and publisher owned by The Walt Disney Company through Disney Interactive. Prior to its closure in 2016, it developed and distributed multi-platform video games and interactive entertainment worldwide.
The Walt Disney Studios is an American film studio, one of the four major businesses of The Walt Disney Company and the main component of its Studio Entertainment segment. The studio, one of the "Big Five" major film studios and best known for its multi-faceted film divisions, is based at the eponymous Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Founded in 1923, it is the fourth-oldest among the major studios.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is the video game production arm of Warner Bros., and a publisher, developer, licensor and distributor of entertainment content for the interactive space across all platforms, including console, handheld, mobile and PC-based gaming for both internal and third party game titles.
Disney Mobile is a division of Disney Interactive, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, that designs mobile apps, content and services.
Avalanche Software, LLC, also known as WB Games | Avalanche, is an American video game developer based in Salt Lake City, Utah, founded in October 1995 by four video game programmers formerly of Sculptured Software: John Blackburn, Todd Blackburn, James Michael Henn and Gary Penacho. The studio was acquired by Buena Vista Games in May 2005, and spent the next ten years developing Disney-related titles, including the toys-to-life game Disney Infinity (2013). In May 2016, due to a declining toys-to-life games market overshadowed by the popularity of mobile gaming, Disney decided to step out of the video game industry, closing Disney Interactive Studios and all of its subsidiaries, including Avalanche Software. In January 2017, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced that they had acquired Avalanche Software and re-opened the company, which saw John Blackburn return as chief executive officer.
Disney.com is a website operated by Disney Digital Network, a division of The Walt Disney Company, that promotes various Disney properties such as films, television shows, and theme park resorts, and offers entertainment content intended for children and families.
Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI), was a segment and subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company that engaged in merchandising of the Disney brand and Disney properties through licensing, retail, video games, digital applications and content divisions. The company was formed as a result of the merger between Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive.
Activision Blizzard, Inc. is an American video game and film holding company based in Santa Monica, California. The company was founded in July 2008 through the merger of Activision and Vivendi Games, the company is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol ATVI, and since 2015 has been one of the stocks that make up the S&P 500. Activision Blizzard currently includes five business units: Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, King, and Major League Gaming, and Activision Blizzard Studios.
Disney Infinity is an action-adventure sandbox video game developed by Avalanche Software and published by Disney Interactive Studios. It was announced on January 15, 2013. The game used collectible figurines that were then synchronized with the game, unlocking characters from Disney and Pixar properties that interact and go on adventures. The game was released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS in August 2013. A PC version of Toy Box was also released on November 14, 2013. The game had a budget approaching $100 million. A sequel, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, was released on September 23, 2014. The third edition, Disney Infinity 3.0, was released on August 30, 2015, and introduced support for the Apple TV.
BabyZone.com was a website for mothers and mothers-to-be. It offered information on the full pregnancy timeline, from "trying to conceive", through pregnancy, childbirth, and raising an infant.
Disney Infinity 3.0 is an action-adventure sandbox video game published by Disney Interactive Studios for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Apple TV, and is the third and final installment in the toys-to-life Disney Infinity series. It was developed by Avalanche Software, with additional help from Ninja Theory, Studio Gobo, Sumo Digital, and United Front Games. In contrast to how Disney Infinity 2.0 focused on Marvel characters and playsets, 3.0 has a focus on the Star Wars franchise. The game was announced on May 5, 2015, and was released on August 28, 2015 in Europe and on August 30, 2015 in North America.
Toys-to-life is a video game feature using physical figurines or action figures to interact within the game. These toys use a near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or image recognition data protocol to determine the individual figurine's proximity, and save a player's progress data to a storage medium located within that piece. It is one of the most lucrative branches of the video game industry, with the Skylanders franchise alone selling more than $3 billion worth over the course of four years.
Rich LeFurgy is an American advertising consultant and investor. The founding chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, he left a senior position at a Madison Avenue agency in 1995, becoming one of the first advertising executives to shift from traditional to digital media. Described as the "godfather of internet advertising standards," LeFurgy was central to the development and adoption of the standards which guide online advertising.
This means that we will be shutting down Avalanche, our internal studio that developed the game.