Formed in 2017, Universal Games and Digital Platforms published titles based on franchises like ‘Minions,’ ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘How to Train Your Dragon.’
NBCUniversal is shutting down its Universal Games and Digital Platform division, responsible for publishing mobile games based on various company IP, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
An NBCUniversal spokesperson reportedly stated, "Given the realities of the increasingly competitive nature of the mobile games landscape, Universal Brand Development (UBD) is shifting its investment and approach in games to opportunities that don’t require mobile self-publishing. This will allow UBD to deepen their licensing and partnership opportunities across all gaming platforms. As a result of this shift, the team has undergone a restructuring to be better positioned for long-term success.”
The spokesperson went on to add, "Based on our recent organizational re-alignment, we’re working with our development partners on alternative publishing paths for some of the games in our mobile portfolio. Specific details for each title will be announced at a later date."
The division, which launched in 2017, was led by executive VP Chris Heatherly, who will continue at UBD until the end of the year. Some staff will continue on working with the company’s licensed game business.
The closure comes on the heels NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s Lifestyle Networks group layoff of 5% of its staff earlier this morning, which included top E!, Bravo and Oxygen executives.
UBD game titles include Despicable Me: Minion Rush, Funko Pop! Blitz, Jurassic World Alive and DreamWorks Dragons Dawn of New Riders.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.