This is some bad news for my nephew: Disney are stopping production of Disney Infinity, their ‘toys to life’ series. They’re also effectively exiting the games publishing business in the process, and closing down Infinity developers Avalanche Software. My nephew won’t know what those bits mean though.
A ‘toys to life’ game is one in which you buy plastic figurines and put them on a plastic base connected to your computer that causes the character to then appear inside the game. It’s basically magic. Expensive, plastic magic – and Disney’s answer to Activision’s crazy popular Skylanders series. Essentially you buy a character – say, Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles – place him on your base at home, and then you can use him to play an Incredibles-themed mission set or in an open world Toy Box mode. I never played it but I think it sounds like an awesome toy.
I suppose this means that Infinity was less crazy popular than its inspiration, however. In an earnings report yesterday, the company said that Infinity had “lower results” than predicted and that this led to “the discontinuation of our self-published console games business, principally Infinity.”
Although they say “console game business,” Disney Infinity did come to PC, albeit only ever in truncated form. Our version never supported the plastic base atop which you could place your figurines. Instead, on PC, you simply bought characters via an online store like a regular, plastic magic-free free-to-play game.
The closure of Avalanche Software means 300 people losing their jobs. Avalanche Software should not be confused, as I have for the past four years, with Avalanche Studios, the makers of the Just Cause series.
Who wants to start the countdown to EA getting the license to more Disney properties?