The End of Infinity
In what I would say is a bit of a shock move, Disney Interactive has announced the discontinuation of its Disney Infinity franchise, as well as the closure of the internal studio handling its development, Avalanche. When you look at the numbers, though, the shock dissipates into a quiet wisp of disappointment at the loss of more industry jobs.
Disney’s Q2 report for the 2016 fiscal year, which was released earlier today, included a $147 million charge to the business which according to the report was “in connection with the discontinuation of our self-published console games business, principally Infinity”. This effectively ends Disney’s role as a video game publisher, with Disney’s chairman of consumer products and interactive media, James Pitaro, citing a shift in the company’s focus to a licensing model, rather than funding development of its IP’s internally.
This was confirmed shortly after via a blog post by John Blackburn, studio vice president and general manager of Disney Infinity franchise, who wrote: “By now you may have heard the news that we have made the difficult decision to discontinue production of Disney Infinity…”
Blackburn also confirmed that they would release two final playsets in May/June before winding down production – this includes the closure of Avalanche Software, the studio behind the development of the game, and the loss of around 300 jobs.
Three new characters from Alice Through The Looking Glass are due out near the end of May, whilst the Finding Dory Play Set will release in June.
James Swinbanks is a Games Critic currently writing for GameSpot, although you’ll still occasionally see him popping up on Player 2, because frankly, he loves the smell of the place.