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All Articles: Disney Infinity
Two months ago, the Disney Infinity franchise was put on hiatus by Disney Interactive. Yesterday, the Walt Disney Company announced the end of Disney Interactive with the cancellation of all console development and the closure of the entire division.
Speaking during the company’s quarterly financial report, Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said, “During the quarter, we took a charge of $147 million in connection with the shutdown of our Infinity console games business. Going forward, our console games strategy will focus solely on licensing our great portfolio of content.”
This closure extends to developer Avalanche Software, and Disney Interactive General Manager John Blackburn thanked them for all their hard work on the publisher’s official website:
Our goal for Disney Infinity was to bring the best of Disney storytelling to life in homes around the world, and with your support we accomplished that. We hope you had as much fun playing the game as we had making it.
And as we turn to the next chapter in our story, I want to thank everyone who helped bring Disney Infinity to life, particularly Disney’s Glendale-based production and publishing teams, our external development partners, and of course the incredible Avalanche team for their tireless dedication to this project.
Avalanche will complete work on the remaining Disney Infinity content that is currently in development, including three figures from Alice: Through the Looking Glass (which will be available later this month) and a Finding Dory Play Set (coming in June).
With Disney’s console development future tied up in licensing deals, we should probably expect to hear about more third-party partnerships, like the one the company struck with EA to create Star Wars: Battlefront, soon.
Disney Infinity was released to fairly universal acclaim in 2013, but gamers everywhere hoped the Mouse House would add Marvel characters to the mix in a sequel. Disney listened to their requests, and released Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes a year later. This same cycle of fan feedback eventually led Disney Interactive to begin production on Disney Infinity: Star Wars, which will be released sometime in the Fall.
But what other characters from the Disney Vault will eventually make their way into a future Disney Infinity game? How about… all of them?
Disney Interactive’s John Blackburn and John Vignocchi recently spoke to Polygon about the franchise, revealing that every character from Disney’s vast empire has the chance to be added to a future Disney Infinity project. They couldn’t make any promises on which characters might make a future appearance, but Lucasfilm’s Ada Duan said that Howard the Duck has been asked for by a lot of fans. Other characters name-dropped by the trio include Indiana Jones, Darkwing Duck, and LucasArts’s stable of adventure games (especially Secret of Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle).
Though it might be a while before any of these characters make it into Disney Infinity, as Duan said the company is “looking forward” towards new content. That’s disappointing, but the full interview at Polygon is still a riot, so be sure to read the whole thing.
With the launch of Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes less than a month away, Disney Interactive doesn’t want anyone to forget about the first entry in their crossover franchise. So, beginning today, they’ve partnered with Nintendo to offer a free download of Disney Infinity from the Wii U eShop. Obviously, you’ll have to purchase your own Portal Base and figures, but this is a good deal for someone looking to break into the Disney Infinity universe for the first time.
Elsewhere on this week’s eShop update is a trio of Virtual Console titles now available for the first time. The last Mega Man game on the NES, Mega Man VI, can be downloaded on the Wii U along with Life Force, the first of many spinoffs/sequels to Gradius. Meanwhile, the 3DS is now home to Xtreme Sports, one of the first games developed by WayForward and originally released for the Game Boy Color in 2000.
Rounding this week’s new releases are Midtown Crazy Race (Wii U), an arcade-style racer; BlazBlue: Clonephantasma (3DS), a cartoony brawler; and Demon King Box (3DS), a mature RPG.
More information on all of these games can be found after the break. (more…)
Marvel Entertainment has released a teaser trailer confirming that Marvel Comics characters (or, at the very least, Captain America) will be part of Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition. Right now, it’s unknown if the 2.0 Edition is a full-fledged sequel or just another online update to 2013’s Disney Infinity, but as I said, we do know it’ll include Marvel characters.
It’s long been assumed that Disney would bring Disney Infinity to the PS4 and Xbox One in some way, so perhaps the 2.0 in the 2.0 Edition refers to the game’s next-gen debut. With Captain America: The Winter Soldier setting the box office on fire, I’m sure we’ll find out soon.
Disney has added Lightsabers to Disney Infinity
Almost from the day it was announced, fans have been begging Disney Interactive to add Star Wars characters to Disney Infinity. While we’re not there quite yet, the publisher has revealed that a Lightsaber, an elegant weapon for a more civilized age, can be found in the game. The specific steps you need to take to unlock the Lightsaber can be found at the Disney Infinity Wiki.
So if you’ve ever wanted to watch Mickey Mouse, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Jessie from Toy Story, Mr. Incredible, Dash, and Elastigirl from The Incredibles, The Lone Ranger, Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc., Rapunzel, Jack Skellington, Wreck-It Ralph, Jack Sparrow, Elsa from Frozen, and several others wield a Lightsaber, I recommend checking out the trailer above.
As for actual Star Wars characters, we’ll probably have to wait for Disney Infinity 2.
Disney Interactive had a 38% revenue growth (to $403 million) and a 600% quarterly operating income growth (to $55 million from $9 million), according to their quarterly earnings call, which took place last week. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger attributed the success primarily to Disney Infinity. Hopefully this means that last week’s rumor about layoffs was just that: a rumor.
But wait – there’s more great news. Iger confirmed that there would be additional entries in the Disney Infinity series, saying, “On the interactive front, there will be new iterations of [Disney] Infinity.” The executive also said that Disney Interactive would explore more mobile possibilities – could Infinity be coming to mobile platforms as well?
The company plans to focus more on licensing their iconic characters (for example, their deal with EA for two Star Wars games) instead of publishing when it comes to console – with the exception of Infinity. Iger also said they are “tracking what we are seeing in the industry” and “moving off of some of the more traditional platforms into mobile-to-mobile space, mostly for social games and for other casual games.”
With how much I see little kids stealing their parents’ phones to play Minecraft and other games, putting more Disney games on mobile would be sheer genius.
Nestled into an incredibly depressing Wall Street Journal article about upcoming layoffs at Disney Interactive was this comment:
New versions of [Disney Infinity] featuring characters from Disney’s Marvel superhero unit and the Star Wars universe it acquired along with Lucasfilm in 2012 are being developed.
Disney Interactive – which has about 3,000 employees – will be letting go of several hundred of them. “The cuts at Disney Interactive, which has undergone multiple rounds of layoffs in recent years as it struggled to reach profitability, are expected to begin after the media giant releases its quarterly financial results Wednesday.” Disney Infinity’s success “was considered critical for its continuing videogame efforts after a number of failures.”
While it’s exciting to hear about possible Marvel and Star Wars expansions, it’s difficult to hear about more layoffs in the industry. Hopefully the layoffs are just a rumor.
The NPD Group previously declared Call of Duty: Ghosts the best-selling game of December 2013, but Activision’s military shooter fell a bit short in the full-year competition. With Ghosts in second place, you might have guessed that Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V was the best-selling retail game of 2013… and you’d be right.
Sequels and sports games dominate the list, but the universal appeal of Disney allowed Disney Infinity to crack the top ten at #10. At #9, the retail version of the mighty Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition also made the list.
Here’s the complete top ten of 2013’s best-selling retail games:
Best-Selling Retail Games of 2013
1. Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox 360, PS3)
2. Call Of Duty: Ghosts (Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, PC, Wii U)
3. Madden NFL 25 (Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One)
4. Battlefield 4 (Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, PC)
5. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PC)
6. NBA 2K14 (Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, PC)
7. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, PC)
8. Just Dance 2014 (Wii, Xbox 360, Wii U, Xbox One, PS3, PS4)
9. Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (Xbox 360)
10. Disney Infinity (Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, Wii U, 3DS)