Closing the toy box
Disney Infinity, we hardly knew ye.
The toys-to-life game franchise, which stars a wide-ranging cast of Disney characters in an open world adventure setting, has been given the axe by the House of Mouse. The announcement was made at a shareholder’s meeting where they reportedly blamed the series for dragging down their overall interactive media and consumer products departments. This decision was confirmed on the Disney Interactive blog by John Blackburn, the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Disney Infinity brand. According to the post, once the last of the already-developed sets release (which includes tie-ins to Alice: Through the Looking Glass and Finding Dory), production on the game would cease.
That’s not all, however. Disney confirmed in a statement to Venture Beat that they would also be closing shop on the game’s developer and in-house development studio Avalanche Software. The studio cited the lack of growth in the toys-to-life market and the overall costs of development for Infinity in making the choice to shutter Avalanche. The company plans to move into a purely IP licensing-based model for their games in the future.
This is honestly a real shame, to tell the truth. While I never played the Infinity games at length, what I did play was fun, and the figures themselves were of pretty good quality and had a sort of cartoony, exaggerated style to them. They were at least a tempting alternative to the other toy/game combos on the market. Unfortunately for Disney, they were dwarfed by Activision’s Skylanders, which had a good two years on Infinity, and beaten down further with the release of Nintendo’s Amiibo in 2014. Even adding in Marvel and Star Wars characters to the mix couldn’t save the franchise.
While Disney made it to Infinity, it looks like success was just too far beyond their reach.