Disney Interactive released an official statement to Joystiq today confirming rumors regarding the end of Junction Point Studios. According to the company, “organizational changes” led to the closure of the Epic Mickey 2 development studio in Austin, Texas. Other factors like poor review scores and low sales might have also contributed to their final decision.
“It was with much sadness that we informed our teams today of changes to our Games organization, which include the closure of Junction Point Studios,” said a Disney representative. “We’re extremely grateful to [Junction Point founder Warren Spector] and the Junction Point team for their creative contributions to Disney with Disney Epic Mickey and Disney Epic Mickey 2.”
In regards to veteran game designer Warren Spector, another Disney representative confirmed to Polygon that he is no longer with the company at all. He was the former president and co-founder of Junction Point, as well as vice president at Disney Interactive. His LinkedIn profile now lists him as an unemployed job seeker with the following message, “Wondering what comes next?… Want to talk?”
Specific numbers on how many developers ended up losing their jobs at Junction Point is currently unknown. However, this week it was revealed that the closure was not a complete surprise as the staff had been on paid leave for over a month. Epic Mickey 2′s sales numbers were also disappointing, with reports indicating that it only sold 270k copies in the United States by the end of last year.
The game also suffered low review scores from critics, with it’s Metacritic scores hovering around 56-64 among all platforms. Regardless, it’s still depressing news to hear about a committed developer getting shut down, especially one that tried very hard to bring Mickey Mouse to both casual and hardcore gamers. We wish the former employees the best of luck.