Disney-owned Maker Studios hit with layoffs
Opened with a bang, and deep investment in 2014, Disney-owned short-form creative specialists Maker Studios confirmed to Deadline that they are, in fact, laying off staff. Initially, Disney made a $500m commitment to the effort and, if certain financial targets were hit, was going to add an additional $450m. However, the company fell short, with the final outlay at $698m.
In a statement, the company said that: “Maker Studios’ business is constantly evolving and after careful thought, we have decided to make some strategic adjustments — reducing staff in some areas while still actively hiring in others — to best align with the go-forward strategy of the company.”
The company is focusing its efforts on gaming, lifestyle, entertainment and kids/family content — and is home to Internet sensation PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg). In January, Maker launched a premium gaming network, Revelmode, that included the Swedish star and other popular YouTubers such as ackSepticEye (Sean McLoughlin), Mark Fischbach (Markiplier), Ken Morrison (CinnamonToastKen) and Emma Blackery.
The current programming is counter to plans in 2015, per Deadline, that indicated the company had plans to work with other Disney properties including ESPN, Marvel and others.