Disney’s game division posts almost a quarter of a billion dollar loss

Epic Mickey 2Mickey Mouse’s employers have been in the news a lot lately with their recent acquisition of LucasFilm and the Star Wars franchise, but the latest update from Disney reveals some difficulty in getting their gaming interests to turn a profit.

In its latest fourth-quarter and full-year financial report, Disney indicated that its Interactive Media division — which manages its various gaming projects — was the only sector of the company to post a loss for the year-long period ending September 29. The sum total of its net loss was $216 million, and the company blamed the deficit on a lack of “significant” titles released during the year.

However, the report wasn’t entirely gloomy for Disney, as the $216 million loss was actually an improvement on the $308 million loss the games division reported last year at this time. The upward trend was attributed to a greater focus on social gaming and a shift away from console-game development.

“Improved segment operating results for the year reflected an increase at our social games business and higher allocations to other Company businesses, primarily related to website design and maintenance, partially offset by a decrease at our console game business,” explained the company. “Social game results reflected lower acquisition accounting impacts and improved title performance in the current year. Lower console game results were driven by a decline in sales volume from fewer significant releases which was partially offset by lower marketing costs, higher minimum guarantee recognition and decreased product development costs. The reduction in console games product development reflected an ongoing shift from console game releases to mobile and social game releases.”

With Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two scheduled to hit shelves later this month across various platforms, it will be interesting to see how the much-anticipated console game affects Disney’s bottom line for this year. The first Epic Mickey was released in November 2010, so its sales would’ve counted toward the most recent financial report.