Disney is merging its digital media unit Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) with its video gaming unit Disney Interactive Studios (DIS) into a new unit called Disney Interactive Media Group.
The new merger will seek to develop and distribute all Disney-branded interactive digital media and entertainment for digital interactive platforms. The new unit will be led by Steve Wadsworth - who previously was Walt Disney Interactive Group's president - and existing management teams will continue to run the combined group. He will be assisted in his new responsibilities by DIS executive vice president and general manager Graham Hopper.
These details were disclosed in an internal memo sent out by Disney CEO Bob Iger. "As console and handheld games become more connected to the Internet, and as Internet and mobile become increasingly robust destinations for games and a range of interactive entertainment, we are taking this opportunity to integrate these activities," it said.
Iger explained that combining the groups allowed for making connections between Disney's efforts online and on mobile with console and handheld games.
"The uniqueness of the Disney brand provides us an opportunity and an imperative to create a unified Disney-branded experience and community across all connected devices," Iger wrote.
Disney spokesman John Spelich confirmed the new digital unit. "Bob's memo speaks for itself," he said.
Merging the online, mobile and video gaming division follows acquisition of online and mobile gaming companies in China by WDIG and DIS. With the new confluence WDIG hopes to hit $1 billion in revenues in fiscal 2008.
Disney has been aggressively pursing entertainment opportunities online in recent years, especially in the connected community and virtual world space. Last month, Disney Interactive Studios launched DGamer, a free, avatar-based community for US. buyers of games the company develops for the Nintendo DS.
Disney seeks to create a unified Disney-branded experience and community across all communities and networks. Moreover, as games are becoming more connected to the Internet, and as Internet and mobile become famous destinations for games and a range of interactive entertainment, Disney wants to integrate these activities.
The Walt Disney Company is the third largest media and entertainment corporation in the world, after Time Warner and News Corporation. Founded on 16 October 1923 by brothers Walt and Roy Disney as an animation studio, it has become one of the biggest Hollywood studios, and owner of eleven theme parks and several television networks, including ABC and ESPN.
Disney's corporate headquarters and primary production facilities are located at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. The group had overall revenues of $35.5 billion last year.