Following record traffic to their site in January, Walt Disney‘s Internet Group (WDIG), has created a new team called Disney Online Studios. The team will focus on expanding Disney’s popular games, virtual worlds, and social networks aimed at kids.
This follows success they’ve had building virtual worlds and communities around their brands. Examples are the award-winning Disney.com XD, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and Toontown Online. The newest virtual world they have announced is called Pixie Hollow, which is a take on DisneyFairies.com. It will launch later this year.
Disney.com recently reported that Disney.com gets over 27 million unique visitors a month. Most of their visitors come for games and entertainment.
I wonder how many other big brands would benefit from creating rather than advertising in virtual communities.
Disney is starting to recruit for jobs in the new division. The state of Utah is hoping they keep creating jobs and is hoping to lure them to by offering tax rebates. If Disney hires at least 500 additional people in Utah, within 10 years they’ll recover 30 percent of their sales, payroll, and corporate taxes.
Utah is already home to two video-game studios owned by Disney: Avalanche Software and Fall Line Studio. Those studios currently employ over 150 people. Disney’s response to the incentives: “We’re very pleased with the success that both studios have had so far,” she said. “We’d like to grow our base of talent there.”