Nearly three years after acquiring YouTube network Maker Studios in a $500+ million deal, Disney appears to be pulling back on its support of YouTubers.
Devs with an interest in the industry should know that, according to sources trusted by The Wall Street Journal, Disney is laying off an estimated 80 people in an effort to significantly shrink the size of its Maker Studios business.
Moreover, sources report that Disney aims to cut back to a point where it's working with about 300 YouTubers who are "family-friendly" and have large followings.
That's significantly less than the roster of 55,000+ channels Maker said it represented when it was acquired in 2014; the WSJ reports many of those channels didn't draw satisfactory viewership, and Disney is reportedly looking to get out of the business of backing novice YouTubers looking to expand their audiences.
As always, if you or someone you know have been affected by these layoffs, you can email Gamasutra to share your story confidentially.