Disney drops its 'Infinity' video-game series
Disney takes a US$147 million charge to get out of video game development, citing a 'lack of growth in the toys-to-life market' and high development costs
Disney has decided to end development on its "Disney Infinity" line of video games — and it's taking a US$147 million charge to get out of the video-game publishing business entirely, and as quickly as possible.
The news was announced on Disney's quarterly earnings call citing "lower results" for the "Infinity" line.
In fact, as gaming news site Kotaku reports, the end of "Disney Infinity" is also the end of Disney's console video-game publishing business entirely. Instead, it will continue to license its intellectual property, as it has with games like "Star Wars: Battlefront" and the forthcoming "Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
Disney posted a quarter that missed Wall Street estimates on the top and bottom lines.
In "Disney Infinity," action figures are drawn from Disney's huge stable of massive media properties, including the animated movies, "Star Wars," Pixar, and Marvel superheroes. Place your Mickey Mouse Infinity figure — which retails for US$14 — on the game's included "Infinity Base," and Mickey Mouse shall appear.
At one time, Disney said that "Disney Infinity" was a US$1 billion business. A "Marvel Battlegrounds" play set for the game was released in March, and a blog post promises that a new "Finding Dory" play set and characters from the new "Alice Through the Looking Glass" movie will still make it to stores this year.
"We hope you had as much fun playing the game as we had making it," writes "Disney Infinity" boss John Blackburn in a blog entry.
"Disney Infinity" was known in the business as a "toys-to-life" title, which refers to that category of video games where you buy real-life action figures that you can then play with on the screen. Its main toys-to-life competitors were "Skylanders" and "Lego Dimensions."
While "Disney Infinity" had been a hit within that market, a statement from Disney says that slow growth in the toys-to-life category led to the decision to cut the game off.
Here's the full statement from Disney executive Jimmy Pitaro:
After a thorough evaluation, we have modified our approach to console gaming and will transition exclusively to a licensing model. This shift in strategy means we will cease production of Disney Infinity, where the lack of growth in the toys-to-life market, coupled with high development costs, has created a challenging business model. This means that we will be shutting down Avalanche, our internal studio that developed the game. This was a difficult decision that we did not take lightly given the quality of Disney Infinity and its many passionate fans.