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Disney Interactive Exec Graham Hopper Leaving Company

Long-serving Disney Interactive Studios GM Graham Hopper will be leaving the company, as the Club Penguin operator continues to shift focus away from boxed products and toward digital releases.
Long-serving general manager of Disney Interactive Studios Graham Hopper will be leaving the company as it continues to shift focus away from boxed products and toward digital releases. The L.A. Times reports that Hopper announced his departure via an internal e-mail today, saying "the time has come for me to move on from the company and set my sights on new horizons." After joining Disney in 1991, Hopper became head of the interactive group in 2002 and slowly transitioned the company away from an exclusive focus on licensed, family-friendly games towards publishing titles like Lumines II, Split/Second and the upcoming Warren Spector-helmed Epic Mickey. But Disney's recent purchases of social game maker Playdom and mobile game developer Tapulous -- as well as successful products like Club Penguin -- suggest the company may be looking more towards purely digital releases to generate profits going forward. "As you look at our strategy, you’d see a blend of investment and some reallocation of investment from the console side to basically this multifaceted side," Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an earnings call in August. Last month, former Playdom COO John Pleasants was named co-president of Disney's interactive group, above Hopper, following the resignation of previous head Steve Wadsworth in October. Disney studio Propaganda recently saw its Pirates of the Caribbean project canceled amid restructuring for the console-focused developer, which is still working on a game adaptation of the TRON: Evolution movie.

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