This past week, we learned that Disney Infinity had been cancelled due to Disney Interactive’s decision to abandon console gaming. To add insult to injury, the company is closing down its internal studio Avalanche Software, leaving close to 300 people without work (hopefully not for long). This summer will see the release of two final playsets based upon Alice:Through the Looking Glass and Finding Dory. Even Worse, Microsoft decided to shutdown its Project Spark, the Xbox One and PC set of game creation tools that allowed users to create and upload games LittleBigPlanet style. Microsoft ended active development on the game back in September, releasing all the game’s dlc for free. As of August 12, the game will no longer have online access, as players will be unable to download content or upload to the cloud. The reason given for Project Spark’s cancellation was that most of the people involved with the project had moved on to other areas within Microsoft, it wasn’t feasible to continue supporting the project. Fortunately, unlike the last time Microsoft cancelled a big name game (Fable Legends) no studio was shutdown nor was anyone fired as a result. At any rate, this isn’t a good look for Microsoft, as this is at least the third title the company has cancelled (the first two being The Phantom Dust reboot and the aforementioned Fable Legends). Maybe we’ll hear about a replacement for Project Spark next month at E3.
As far as Disney Infinity, click after the jump to learn about scrapped plans, speculation, and possible reasons for cancellation.
It would seem that Disney’s decision to cancel the franchise came as a result of internal conflicts within it’s owned brands. Each brand, be it Marvel, LucasArts, Pixar, or whatever else, had it’s it’s own demands for how its content was used in Infinity, as well as what characters to include. This why you couldn’t play as Jack Sparrow in the Avengers playset or Captain America in the Star Wars playset. Not only that, this explained why 3.0 was forced to include characters from the Star Wars Rebels TV series along with a Clone Wars playset rather than just focusing on the movies. With both Marvel and LucasArts forcing ultimatums on Disney Infinity, certain toys failed to move units while certain others are difficult to find. Case in point, Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy. When Marvel learned that Avalanche wanted to include a playset based on Guardians of the Galaxy in Disney Infinity 2.0, Marvel forced them to include the blue-skinned alien. When he, and many others failed to sell, the figures were basically being made at a loss. If you go into any retailer, there are certain figures you’ll have to trouble finding while others are scarce. It goes without saying that with Marvel’s conflict with Fox, this is pretty much why you never saw any X-men figures, even though at one time Marvels Merry Mutants were its biggest franchise. This is why Disney included the Toybox mode, the hubcenter of user creation, in which all your figures were basically toys. Therefore, they didn’t need to justify having Iron Man and Venom fighting imperial storm troopers alongside Aladdin and Jasmine.
Making matters worse, EA’s Star Wars Battlefront hit consoles and PC around the same time the Force Awakens playset was released. The idea was that Battlefront was geared toward teens and older while Infinity was meant for younger children. However, as anyone who has played Call of Duty will ever tell you, the kids that Infinity was meant for gravitated to the shiny online shooter that let them shoot up their enemies alongside Han Solo and Darth Vader. Basically Disney ended up competing with itself.
If Infinity had survived, 2017 would have seen the release of new playsets and figures based on everything from Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and Thor Ragnarok to Card 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean. It would also have included a series of 12-inch figures, and a crossover storyline which bought together all of Disney’s properties. Sadly, this is not to be, as Disney Infinity turned out to be on of the most successful and beloved flops of this console generation. There are a few silver linings however. With Disney Infinity approaching it’s end date, no doubt the figures will hiting clearance prices before long, making it easier for fans to complete their collection. Not only that, but with Disney exiting the console gaming business, it’ll be that much easier for companies and developers to licence out its properties, similar to EA’s deal with Star Wars. Which could mean…….
There is even a petition for this by the way.