Disney Infinity: The Game That Won’t Ever Stop

By Craig Pearson on January 19th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

Think about what those words mean. Disney. Everything. Everywhere. Mostly in your wallet, though. Disney Infinity is the frightening new concept from Disney, tying in games and real-world toy figurines into a confusing and vaguely terrifying thing. I’ve read about it several times now, and I’m making the face a cat makes during fireworks night. A cat that’s just been explained the various components of Disney Infinity, and it just happens to be Guy Fawkes Night. HE IS ALREADY CONFUSED IS WHAT I’M GETTING AT. At least the trailer below is sort of descriptive.

No Mickey? It shows the value of Disney’s modern properties, I guess. And I like how they captured Captain Johnny Sparrow Depp.

As far as I can make out, Disney Infinity is a game that has a number of components. First off, when you buy the package, currently listed for £50 at Toys R Us (though the PC version isn’t listed), you’ll receive the Infinity port and three characters: Sulley, Captain Jack Sparrow and Mr. Incredible. Each of those characters brings his own game to the package. This, in the parlance of Disney, is called a “Play Set”. The Play Set for each is basically a themed open-world adventure game, so for Jack Sparrow, his game will an action adventure on the sea and islands. Neatly each game will have co-op, so you’ll be able to have someone pilot a ship while the other mans the guns.

Playing around in the Play Set will unlock parts for the “Toy Box”. This is by far the most interesting aspect of it: the Toy Box is a sandbox that the player will build his own Diseney-fied world in. While the Play Set keeps everything orderly, so you won’t see Jack and Mr Invisible together, the Toy Box is where everything is given to the player in a big, sticky mess. They build the world, choose the characters, set the goals. It’s apparently a rather powerful toolset, allowing creative players to develop their own modes for up to four-players. Additional effects are added with Power Discs, so you can slot in circular discs for new powers, and hexagonal discs for new toys.

This child clearly spent his pocket money on a Barbossa toy

That all sounds rather neat, but then things get ugly. The initial pack will cost £50, and have three characters. Further Play Sets will be available as well. I can only find the dollar cost, but additional Play Sets will come in at $34.99, while characters can be $12.99 for one, or $29.99 in a ‘Sidekicks Pack’ for three. An example of one of those packs is Mrs Incredible, Mike Wazowski and Barbossa, who all fit into the initial Play Set rather neatly. They’ll all slot into the game in both Play Set and Toy Box mode. More power discs will cost $4.99, and you won’t be able to pick what’s in them. To buy everything at launch, on apparently June 28, will cost roughly £300.

So I’m getting it, now. It’s a mess of toys that create a game world, both discrete and together, and to own them all will be horribly expensive. I wouldn’t want to be a parent with a Disney fan as a child. It’s the Train Simulator DLC model taken to the supermarket checkout counter, so instead of being targeted at Tim Stone, who is more than capable of managing his wants and needs, it’s being aimed at children. Ugh.

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43 Comments »

  1. baby snot says:

    I guess development started before they bought LucasArts/Film. So take their existing sales projections and multiply by infinity to the power of infinity.

  2. Kollega says:

    I think it deserves a mention that Activision did it first with Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure. But yeah… this model feels like the worst excesses of free-to-play given a physical form. It might just become a giant monster and attempt to destroy New York/Tokyo/Paris/London/Karaganda/some other city of importance.

    • apocraphyn says:

      Yeah, it was only a matter of time before someone out there attempted to emulate the success of Skylanders. Clever move by Disney, I guess – the characters are much more established and well known, whereas Skylanders is still relatively fledgling.

      • Ross Angus says:

        My nephews were all about Skylanders this time last year. Now they’ve moved on to Warhammer 40K. Phew.

        • Proximity says:

          Hah! Bullet dodged, but you’ve stepped on a land mine.

        • Foxfoxfox says:

          Imagine if 40k was a video game – we’d be furious!

          ‘oh so I have to pay for the game engine and then pay again for every unit I build? And they’re really expensive? And I also have to assemble and paint them in photoshop before I can use them? Boycott!!’

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            I hate to point out that THQ does basically the same things you listed with their more recent W40K video games.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      RPS has consistently refused to cover Skylanders, so no wonder they’re confused.

      • Parthon says:

        I didn’t know Skylanders was on PC!

        Good to know. I’m going to go buy it for PC right now!

        • Cowgba says:

          Uh oh, I didn’t know it was on PC either… I can feel my wallet getting lighter already.

  3. Toberoth says:

    Screw that, if I ever have kids I’m going to make them play Postal 2; that game is on sale, like, all the time. Seems like a far more sensible option.

  4. AmateurScience says:

    I guess it depends on how much ‘game’ is included with each character disk thingamajig. If it’s $13 for a decent chunk of new game content as well as a new ingame avatar than that’s not too bad. Considering the dearth of good quality games available for the under 12′s on not-the-Wii this may be a good thing.

  5. Masked Dave says:

    Also a game that allows you to potentially have the whole Mario Kart/Super Smash Bros thing between all the classic Disney characters, the broadway musical characters, the Pixar back catalogue, all of Marvel superhero and villains AND Star Wars and Indiana Jones?

    That is potentially awesome.

    • captainparty says:

      Sadly, i don’t think we’ll see much of disney using the Marvel or Star Wars lisences for this, as the video game rights are with various other companies, might be a while before they get them all back

    • zeekthegeek says:

      I don’t think Disney actually gets the rights to Indiana Jones. Most of that is held by Spielberg and his affiliated studios.

  6. LionsPhil says:

    Jack’s got a real Lego-games vibe going on there. It’s nicely stylised.

  7. Pippy says:

    You won’t see Mr Invisible…AT ALL.

  8. LTK says:

    Okay, so far I see:

    - Superhero combat
    - Ship battles
    - Flying
    - Destructible environment (possibly scripted)
    - World editing
    - Racing
    - Tethering stuff a la JC2
    - Possibly platforming

    All that in one game? I don’t think even Disney can pull that off.

    • InternetBatman says:

      It sounds mostly like Just Cause 2. I don’t think it’s impossible, just create a world with a few simple rules that envelope most kinds of actions but doesn’t allow an incredible amount of depth.

    • Hallgrim says:

      Toy Story 3 was a pretty fantastic sandbox game. A dozen or so levels with different characters and mechanics, coupled with a toy box where you could complete missions (some of which were levels in their own right) and unlock equipment for your avatar, buildings to build in your cowboy town, and costumes for the people that lived there. They had much of what you are listing, and although it had a problem with corrupted saves, it was pretty amazing watching my kids play.

      I’m actually pretty happy they look to be building on the concept. Hopefully the price tag isn’t quite as steep as it looks. Just no way to justify spending that kind of money, even for a singularly good sandbox game.

  9. neolith says:

    Looks like Second Life + Lego MMO + Disney DLC. No thanks, not my cup of tea.

  10. Sunjammer says:

    NO DUCKTALES, NO MERCY

  11. Vandelay says:

    This new fangled buy a toy and get in-game characters thing definitely seems very, very dodgy to me. I’m sure older games allowed me to select from a bunch of characters without needing to buy a physical plastic figurine. It was called a character select screen.

    Then it dawned on me (probably long after everyone else had figured it out.) This is just a way of selling DLC to kids who don’t own credit cards and can’t make online purchases. Now, it looks like you do get a fair amount for your money with this one (no idea about Skylanders,) but that sort of marketing targeted at children always seems very unsettling in my eyes and, as much as I love Disney films, they really are the kings of unsettling marketing.

    This game does look quite fun though.

  12. mandrill says:

    I am not ashamed to admit that I would happily fork out for a figurine from each of Pixar’s offerings, especially if they came with a game attached. And the possibility of building a mashed up pixar world of my own.

    I think this is a pretty clever move by Disney, There are Disney movies for everyone. Pirates, Superheroes, Classics, Princesses, and multitudes of anthropomorphised objects and animals. I also hope they look at doing a Tron expansion, I’ve been watching the Uprising TV series and its not bad. Not forgetting as well that Disney own the Marvel movie studios… The sheer scope of possibility of this is staggering.

    Maybe that’s just me though.

    • Taidan says:

      Pretty much what I stopped by to say. I don’t approve of this kind of thing, but if they add Tron collectibles, I’ll be first in line.

  13. Saarlaender39 says:

    Well, if I was 30 years younger, this would be the game I’m longing for. But I’m not, so I don’t.

  14. Keymonk says:

    This would be a lot more amazing if they did let you mix and match as you desired. :C

  15. Loque says:

    100% Skylanders’ ripoff (which is currently a great game, btw, if you have kids). Skylander’s starter pack goes for 50$ and you get the game DVD, the usb platform and 3 characters. Then you can buy more (30 approx) for a price thatranges from 5 to 30 dollars. Kids absolutely love the characters and keep playing with them “offline” all the time. Smart move, in every sense.

  16. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Although the game could be pretty fun for kids, it feels a lot like a rip off to me. Especially since kids are the target demographic.

  17. Didero says:

    The only reason I’m interested in this is to finally get an Incredibles figurine.

    But since he’s in the base set, it’s too expensive for me.
    Though with a little luck it’ll get my oldest brother and his wife, big Disney fans, firmly into gaming.
    Which means they spend the money and I get part of the fun :P

  18. Jay says:

    From what I’ve heard, the Toybox mode is basically a massively expanded sequel to the surprisingly great GTA-with-toys “Woody’s Roundup” mode from the Toy Story 3 game, with further creative elements thrown in.

    I wasn’t fussed about Infinity until I actually gave the 360 version of TS3 a try (thanks to Chris from NGamer’s recommendation), now I’m genuinely looking forward to it. TS3 was a bit of a minor classic that deserved the kind of reception the Lego series gets, but got a bit lost in the shovelware tide.

    Be warned that the PC version’s based on the considerably inferior Wii port for some bizarre reason, missing a huge chunk of the options along with local co-op. If you see a PS360 version going cheap though, you could do a lot worse.

  19. Iskarott says:

    Did anyone else notice that several times during the trailer, when they showed actual gameplay footage, there were moments of slowdown and several times the gameplay seemed to be running sub-30 FPS. I’m not sure about the quality of this.

  20. hypercrisis says:

    I suppose this means we shall see a tv cartoon for sky landers soon. If they plan to compete with Disney that is. All they can really hope for is Star Wars to not be involved.

  21. cappstv says:

    as soon as there is a villain pack i am going to be willing to sale my soul for this.

    but yeah, this is looking extremely expensive. Hopefully the play sets will offer enough content to actually justify their price, but who knows.

  22. mihahalu says:

    til I saw the check which said $5048, I be certain …that…my mother in law woz like actualey bringing home money in there spare time from their computer.. there best friend has done this for under eleven months and at present took care of the dept on there home and bourt a brand new Renault 5. go to, http://www.Cloud65.com

  23. Corporate Dog says:

    I think I still have time to ween my son off Pixar’s Cars before those playsets come out. How did my Star Wars fandom NOT rub off on him? I blame the prequels.

  24. TheSplund says:

    To Infinity and…