Disney Infinity Discontinued, Developer Shuttered With Nearly 300 Jobs Lost
"We hope you had as much fun playing the game as we had making it."
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As part of this, the House of Mouse is incurring a $147 million charge. As Ben Fritz of The Wall Street Journal puts it, this is the "end of Disney as video game publisher." Additionally, Disney Infinity principal developer Avalanche Software is being closed, with "close to" 300 developers losing their jobs, according to Fritz.
Along with cancellation of "Infinity," Disney is closing Avalanche studio in Utah. Close to 300 jobs will be cut.— Ben Fritz (@benfritz) May 10, 2016
It remains to be seen if any of Disney Infinity's co-developers, such as Ninja Theory, are affected by the game's discontinuation. We'll report back with new details as they become available.
The latest Disney Infinity game was Disney Infinity 3.0, which launched in August 2015 for consoles and PC. In March this year, Disney announced that it would not launch Disney 4.0 this year, and instead treat 3.0 as something of a platform that would be continually updated. It seems that is no longer going to be the case.
Later in March, Disney Interactive pulled out of E3 2016, but did not explain why.
Two more Disney Infinity playsets, based on Alice Through the Looking Glass and Finding Dory, are coming in June. However, it sounds like those will be the final two ever released for the game.
In a statement to GameSpot, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media chairman Jimmy Pitaro explained more of the reasoning behind Disney Infinity's shutdown.
"After a thorough evaluation, we have modified our approach to console gaming and will transition exclusively to a licensing model," he said. "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."
There will continue to be video games based on Disney properties, of course, but Disney will no longer publish them. Electronic Arts is making multiple new Star Wars games, including reportedly multiple Battlefront sequels, as well as a third-person game from Titanfall developer Respawn. Additionally, Dead Space developer Visceral Games and new EA studio Motive are also working on Star Wars projects.
Disney Infinity SVP John Blackburn published a statement on the shutdown on the game's website. You can read the full post below.
"By now you may have heard the news that we have made the difficult decision to discontinue production of Disney Infinity. From the beginning, Disney Infinity was built for you--our fans--and I wanted to take a moment to thank you not just for your support over the years, but for creating a community that made Disney Infinity more than just a game.
"Our goal for Disney Infinity was to bring the best of Disney storytelling to life in homes around the world, and with your support we accomplished that. We hope you had as much fun playing the game as we had making it.
"So what's next for Disney Infinity? We have two final retail releases coming, including three new characters from Alice Through the Looking Glass later this month, and the Finding Dory Play Set launching in June.
"And as we turn to the next chapter in our story, I want to thank everyone who helped bring Disney Infinity to life, particularly Disney's Glendale-based production and publishing teams, our external development partners, and of course the incredible Avalanche team for their tireless dedication to this project.
"But most of all, I want to again thank you for making Disney Infinity a part of your lives—and for adding to the Disney legacy by being a part of this community."
For its part, Activision has also said that its toys-to-life game, Skylanders, is underperforming.