Update: obviously there are only pieces of news surrounding this announcement so far, we’ll be adding more snippets when they are released so we can try and establish a clearer picture.
Walt Disney Co. is taking a $147 million charge as it cancels its “Infinity” videogame line and stops making games for consoles like Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation.
Infiniteers, we have just received word that Disney will cease production of Disney Infinity toys and play sets following the release of the Finding Dory set later this year. The specific details are still trickling in, but for now we know that the Alice: Through the Looking Glass characters will be released, as will the Finding Dory characters and play set. After that, though, there will be no new physical content. This does mean that the previously announced Peter Pan figure will not be coming out, and there will be no content for Rogue One: A Star Wars Tale or Dr. Strange later this year.
We will keep you updated as we learn more. In the mean time, our thoughts and heartfelt well wishes go out to the members of Avalanche Studios and any other production company who were on the Infinity team. To each and every one of you we wish you the best and know that you will use your immense talent to land on your feet. We look forward to seeing what you will produce next.
The official press release is copied 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.
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney added the following statement via Game Informer:
On Disney’s earnings call this afternoon, chairman and CEO Bob Iger explained more about the company’s decision to close down Infinity production. “We thought we had a really good opportunity to launch our own product in that space, “Iger said. “I realize it was console space, but it was also essentially– a large component of it was the toys-to-life, they call it toys-to-life business. In fact we did quite well with the first iteration of it, and we did okay with the second iteration. But that business is a changing business and we did not have enough confidence in the business in terms of it being stable enough to stay in it from a self-publishing perspective.
Iger reinforced the financial earnings report that attributed much of the write-down to lingering Infinity inventory. “You know that you take on substantially more risk, particularly when it comes to manufacturing and managing the inventory, the toy inventory, of that business,” he said. “In fact, as Christine noted, a good part of the write-off that we just announced comes from having to write off that inventory that we took responsibility for when we went into the publishing business. We just feel that it’s a changing space and that we’re just better off at managing the risk that that business delivers by licensing instead of publishing. It’s just that simple. We actually made a good product. I give the developer a lot of credit for the product that they made. It was extremely well-received. But we knew going in that there would be a lot of risk with this product and the fact that we did so well initially gave us the confidence to continue with it. The truth of the matter is that the risks that we saw at the beginning when we started this caught up with us.”
Whilst this is massively saddening for Disney Infinity fans and the entire community, we’re starting to discuss what this means for the future of Disney and all of it’s IPs in regards to gaming. James and myself (this is Will speaking now) are thinking that Disney may be more open about partnerships with companies such as LEGO for additional Marvel & Star Wars games, perhaps more LEGO Dimension Disney related sets.
James Pitaro, Walt Disney’s chairman added the following statement when speaking with Wired.com:
“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,” Pitaro said.
We’ll be adding more as the story develops, please standby :/