In a surprising turn of events, Disney announces its Disney Infinity toys-to-life brand is ceasing production and Utah-based Avalanche Software is shutting down.
Despite strong critical reviews, a massive stable of billion dollar global brands, and the backing of a major conglomerate, the Disney Infinity franchise is coming to an end. The toys-to-life series will cease production on any unnanounced projects, though it will still release its planned Alice Through the Looking Glass figures and Finding Dory play set later this year.
News of Disney Infinity’s cancellation should come to a shock to most, especially considering the brand’s potential. With so many Disney IP at their fingertips, the Disney Infinity developers were poised to scour every inch of the barrel, making heaps of money in the process.
That’s not even counting Disney-owned properties either, of which Disney Infinity had only begun to scratch the surface. Star Wars and Marvel were assumed to be major money-makers for the series – a chance to grab even more fans, while also tying into popular film releases like Episode 7: The Force Awakens and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Truthfully, it seemed as though Disney Infinity was only just now hitting its stride, releasing a Disney branded product, then a Marvel one, and then a Star Wars one in 2015. After that, the plan was to continue to expand by adding more and more characters and new play sets, essentially making Disney Infinity 3.0 a platform with no foreseeable end.
Unfortunately, all of that assumed potential and success was purely that and there is an end. In Disney’s mind the expenses associated with keeping the Infinity brand were too great, and the simpler course of action was to cease operations altogether.
With the cancellation of Disney Infinity also comes the closure of Avalanche Software, the development studio behind the toys-to-life games. In total there will be a reported 300 jobs cut – a devastating reality of this industry.
"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."
Ultimately, it’s hard to say why Disney Infinity failed in the face of so much potential. It could be that the toys-to-life brand as a whole is fading, or it could be that Skylanders is simply too strong of an entity to compete with.
There’s also the strong possibility that Disney’s eyes grew too big for its stomach, and when Disney Infinity did not reach the type of massive success that the company hoped, the major players started to get disappointed. Perhaps the investment was too great the outset that Disney Infinity never had a fair shake.
Whatever the case may be, our hearts go out to all affected by this unexpected news and we hope each and every developer land safely on their feet. Disney Infinity may not have been for everyone, but based on our time with the game it was clear there was a lot of talent behind the scenes.