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Disney's Lucasfilm shuts SG office, cites industry's poor economic outlook

Disney's Lucasfilm shuts SG office, cites industry's poor economic outlook

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Lucasfilm is shutting its operations in Singapore. According to parent company Disney, this is due to economic factors affecting the industry. Media reports say that the company has more than 300 employees in Singapore.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Disney for a statement. In a quote given to CNA, Disney said that Lucasfilm's visual effects and animation studio, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) will be consolidating its global footprint and winding down its Singapore studio. It added that ILM is giving employees as much notice as possible and will be working with the local business community “to offer a job fair with companies identified as having a need for talent with similar skill sets”.

According to a joint statement by Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), efforts are being made helping affected employees to find roles in other companies. It added that the technical and creative skillsets of employees continue to be in high demand within the media industry and others that are going digital. It noted that with Lucasfilm in Singapore, local talent were able to work alongside experienced producers playing on a global stage.

The statement added that despite the media industry undergoing transformation, Singapore remains an “attractive hub for global media companies that are committed to growing a competitive and innovative ecosystem.”

In July last year, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment studio, ILMxLAB, expanded operations beyond the San Francisco headquarters, opening the first international studio in Singapore with support from Singapore’s Economic Development Board. ILMxLAB Singapore was expanded to put a focus on immersive, real-time storytelling.

However, not long after, earlier this year, The Walt Disney company announced a slew of restructures as it brought back on board CEO Bob Iger. The company said it would be cutting 7000 jobs globally in a bid to save US$5.5 billion in costs. Iger reinforced that streaming will remain Disney’s main priority. He said the company would place more focus on its core brands and franchises.

In March this year, Disney also pressed pause on its metaverse ambitions as the media company laid off its next generation storytelling and consumer experiences division aka its metaverse team. The team had around 50 employees.

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