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Disney Merges Interactive And Consumer Products Divisions For Toys To Life Superpower

by Mike Futter on Jun 29, 2015 at 12:29 PM

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Disney has announced that it is realigning two of its divisions, bringing together groups that are separately working on technology products. Disney Interactive, responsible for Disney Infinity, and the Disney Consumer Products, developing the Playmation toys to life game are uniting.

The company says that the merger of these two business units will better align the separate technology development ongoing in the divisions. It will also leverage the retail and licensing relationships already in place.

The new division, which will be called Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI) will be run collaboratively by co-chairs of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media Leslie Ferraro and Jimmy Pitaro. Ferraro and Pitaro will retain their titles as presidents respectively of Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive.

Disney is also forming a new group called DCPI labs to focus on “cutting edge technology and immersive products.” Both Disney Infinity and Playmation seem to headline this type of initiative.

The new unit continues to be responsible for mobile and social game publishing, traditional retail product development, licensing for consumer products, and Disney Infinity.

Disney Interactive revenues were down in the second quarter by 12 percent, though operating income increased 86 percent year over year. The improvement in operating income comes as a result of streamlining that led to lower marketing and development costs, though Infinity flagged during the period.

Consumer products saw increaed revenues of 10 percent, with operating income also on the rise by 32 percent. This was due largely to the popularity of licensed products tied to Frozen and The Avengers.


Our Take
This move makes a great deal of sense, especially as the two formerly separate units were pursuing different takes on the toys to life genre. Bringing together these two groups should prevent duplication of effort and improve communication amongst those teams working on similar products.