David Bloom is a Deadline contributor.
It was a reasonable question after Disney showed 37 minutes of its upcoming Pixar animated film Monsters University and about 15 minutes of its Jerry Bruckheimer-produced The Lone Ranger Sunday night at the big Regal theater by the Los Angeles Convention Center, introduced in part by Disney President of Production Sean Bailey.
That said, on the eve of the massive Electronic Entertainment Expo, the company did talk a fair amount about Disney Infinity, the game platform debuting in August that uses miniature figurines of Disney characters to activate virtual game experiences on all the major game machines. The new platform is basically a cross between two popular games: Skylanders, which uses a similar figurine-based hybrid approach, and Minecraft, which lets users build their own virtual worlds. The difference is these game worlds will be stuffed with Disney characters.
For the first time Disney is letting its characters from one movie universe play in family-friendly games set in other worlds, such as having Jack Sparrow from The Pirates Of The Caribbean race a horse in The Lone Ranger or have a toilet-paper “shootout” in the “Monsters” world. Players also can mix and match movie universes and characters to build their own game experiences. The player-created worlds can be uploaded to Disney, which will “curate” the best of them for download by other players. Read More »
The highly promoted videogame had been targeted for June to coincide with the release of Monsters University. Disney Infinity will include a host of Disney characters including Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story as well as members of The Incredibles. Players personalize the game by collecting characters, vehicles, and gadgets and saving them to a virtual Toy Box they use in the game — sort of like Activision Blizzard’s Skylanders which has generated more than $1 billion in sales since its 2011 arrival, according to the New York Times. Disney Interactive Co-President John Pleasants told the NYT that retailers had pushed for an introduction date closer to the holiday season. The August 18 rollout means much less of the major release of the game will be counted in Disney’s fiscal year that ends in September. The interactive unit, which also includes Disney’s web and mobile platforms, hasn’t had a profitable year since it was formed in 2008. It generated $9 million in operating income on $291 million in revenue last quarter.
Disney Infinity allows players to use characters from Disney franchises, including Monsters University, Pirates Of the Caribbean and The Incredibles. Disney unveiled the gaming platform today in Los Angeles. Throughout each story-driven experience, called a Play Set, players will solve challenging puzzles, battle enemies and explore iconic locations from famous Disney properties, while collecting unique characters, vehicles, and gadgets from each world and saving them to a virtual Toy Box, Disney Interactive said in a statement. Players can access their Toy Box and build and customize their own unique virtual world using their favorite characters, vehicles, settings and accessories. Disney Infinity will launch in June across all consoles and will have a phased roll out across mobile and online devices throughout 2013. Development for Disney Infinity is being led by Disney Interactive and Avalanche Software. Click over to read the full release: Read More »