Update: Disney India told MediaNama that Indiagames is undergoing restructuring and that the company will be concentrating on a few core focus areas. Disney’s statement:
“We are undertaking a restructuring in the Interactive business, aligned with our long-term strategy, that is focused on sustainable profitability and innovation. The intent is to concentrate all our efforts in a few core focus areas of the business given the dynamic nature of the industry we operate in. The Indiagames brand will exist the way it is and will continue to deliver high-quality interactive digital products which include games, apps and other engaging offerings.”
MediaNama also sent a few follow-up questions regarding the nature of the restructuring and focus areas but a spokesperson for the company declined to comment and said that the company had nothing further to add beyond the statement.
Earlier: Disney India is shutting down operations of its game development studios Indiagames and is letting go of around 30 programmers, testers, and artists, according to a report by NDTV Gadgets. The report added further that the employees being let go were working on the studio’s recent iOS and Android game ICC Pro Cricket 2015 and were given their relieving letters on Thursday.
MediaNama reached out to Disney India for a confirmation. Multiple calls and text messages were left unanswered at the time of publication and we will update once we hear from them.
Indiagames is one of the oldest game studios in the country which was founded in 1999 by Vishal Gondal. In October 2011, UTV bought 30.02% in Indiagames from its founder promoters and employee shareholders for Rs 94.56 crore, and got increased its stake to 86.02% from 56%. In February 2012, UTV was acquired by Disney India. The acquisition was completed through a successful delisting offer, which was approved by UTV’s shareholders, and allowed Disney to integrate UTV’s operations.
NDTV’s report further added that Disney India is looking to pivot to a publishing model where the actual game development is outsourced as does not develop any games internally globally. It also said that high development costs and unrealistic revenue projections are what have resulted in the studio’s demise. However, it seems that Indiagames’ producers and designers are still on Disney’s rolls.
Currently, the company looks to leverage its Bollywood movies by making games based on them. But in the feature phone era, Indiagames delivered successful titles like Spiderman and BioShock under licenses.
Image Source: Flickr user Ivan T