SAN DIEGO -- Disney Online said Tuesday that it has created a studio to focus on its growing commitment to virtual worlds as well as games and online social communities.
The new group, Disney Online Studios, will include several of Disney Online's teams, including the creators of Disney.com XD and the company's virtual-reality studio that was responsible for Disney's Toontown Online and Pirates of the Caribbean Online.
Steve Parkis has been promoted to senior vp to lead the new group and will report to Paul Yanover, executive vp and managing director of Disney Online.
Yanover described the move as formalizing the efforts Disney Online has made in the virtual world space, including the acquisition of leading children's virtual world Club Penguin in the summer and the launch of Pirates Online.
"We have a lot of fabulous people, and we've put together a pretty robust portfolio, so this is us internally organizing around this space," Yanover said. "We really believe in virtual worlds, and this is another piece in our overall effort to really go after it."
Disney Online this week also announced a new online world, Pixie Hollow, based on Disney's Fairies franchise, which Yanover said was part of an effort to begin offering virtual worlds aimed at fans of specific Disney franchises.