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After billion-dollar bungles, Disney's game business is finally paying off

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Since 2008 Disney Interactive has turned in total losses exceeding a billion dollars.

But the company today announced its first annual operating profit, of $116 million on revenues of $1.3 billion, up 22 percent year-over-year. You can guess where the turnaround is coming from ... Disney Infinity.

Disney Interactive's financial year finished just a few days after the launch of Disney Infinity 2.0, so much of the good news is down to last year's game. The sequel is expected to have a strong holiday, so it will be interesting to see how first quarter performance compares to last year.

The Disney Infinity series takes beloved Disney characters and creates Skylanders-like game-and-toy crossovers. This year's game also features Marvel characters and an open-world building arena.

Since Disney Interactive was separated from the main group back in 2008, the division has generally lost between $200 million and $300 million a year. Last year's loss of $87 million was its best performance yet, until now.