One of the more interesting rumors of summer 2009 was that Warren Spector was working on a game called "Epic Mickey" for Disney Interactive Studios. That rumor is now reality. After dropping some not-so-subtle hints, Game Informer today revealed that Epic Mickey will be the subject of its November issue cover story.
According to the GameStop-owned magazine, Epic Mickey is in development exclusively for the Wii at Spector's Austin, Texas-based Junction Point studio. Set for a fall 2010 release, the "action" game will be single-player only.
Accompanying artwork confirms that the game will feature Disney's rodent mascot Mickey Mouse in the darkest setting he's been in since the "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" section of the 1940 film Fantasia. However, the images do not show--or rule out--the Steampunk influence featured in then-unconfirmed concept art, which leaked out in July.
Epic Mickey was first hinted at in March 2007, when Spector said he was working on two new IPs, one of which had a showbiz connection. "One of them we're working in collaboration with a fellow you would have heard of out of Hollywood, and one of them is based on a game world that I created about 15 years ago with my wife," Spector declared during a Game Developers Conference presentation. (Spector's wife, Caroline, has written several fantasy novels, including one set in the universe of the Shadowrun games.)
Four months after Spector's GDC 2007 speech, Disney bought Junction Point, which was tasked with developing new IP and properties featuring Disney characters. Speaking with GameSpot post-buyout, the cocreator of the Thief and Deus Ex series said he was looking forward to making games based on Disney's massive catalog, which includes both Pixar and (soon) Marvel properties.
"Well, the idea of working with licenses in general is really appealing to me," Spector told GameSpot. "I don't know if you remember at the 2004 Game Developers Conference, I gave the design keynote where I basically annoyed half of the development world and became the champion of half of the development world. I certainly took a lot of heat for a talk about how licensed properties and sequels weren't the death of creativity, that in fact they can be a spur to creativity. And at the time, I kind of lamented the fact that I had never really had the chance to do a licensed game. And so I've kind been out there looking around for the right opportunity because I think it will be an interesting and very different kind of challenge."