Despite taking on a comparable philosophy to that of Activision’s immensely popular Skylanders franchise, Disney Infinity is an incredibly ambitious project from Avalanche Software that’ll more or less be make or break for Disney’s game division. Just how much cash has the house of mouse pumped into the game’s development? According to The Wall Street Journal, over $100 Million has been sunk into the title — and that’s excluding marketing expenses.
Such an investment is on par to a feature length film from Disney, making this game’s success absolutely mandatory if Disney is to continue creating in-house games. The corporate entity has handed off the responsibility of developing Star Wars games to EA in the wake of its acquisition of LucasArts, which is a strong sign that the company may already have one foot out the door in terms of the future of Disney Interactive.
Even a former employee for Disney’s game division has admitted that Disney Infinity is “a Hail Mary with a tremendous amount of pressure to be a hit.”
While there’s an undeniable amount of pressure placed firmly on the shoulders of Avalanche Software for the studio’s game to be a smashing success, Disney is backing Disney Infinity with the full intention of releasing a blockbuster. The company even plans on releasing a pair of mobile companion apps for users to access certain aspects of the game on the go. Disney Infinity: Action! and Disney Infinity: Toy Box are the new apps in question, and each allows avid fans to interact with the characters appearing in the game.
As is apparent by Disney Infinity: Toy Box‘s name, players will be able to access and edit user-created levels from the retail version of the game. Once gamers have finished creating their playable masterpieces on the iPad, they can then promptly save them and access them in the full game. Those who download the app will instantly have access to Mr. Incredible, but can add new characters via codes that come packed in each additional game piece. Toy Box, for the time being, will only be available to iPad users and should be arriving “in the coming weeks.”
Meanwhile, Disney Infinity: Action! will permit mobile users to interact with famous Disney characters in their own home-made movies. Coming to life on the portable big screen is as easy as opening the app and selecting which props and characters users want in their movie. Anyone from Jack Sparrow to Sully, and even a handful of props from franchises such as Toy Story and Tron, can appear alongside wannabe movie stars. This app is available on multiple mobile platforms now, and is expected to hit the Google Play Store in the near future.
Disney Infinity is composed entirely of the dreams of longtime fans and followers of the many franchises that will be making an appearance in the game, which is appropriate given the number of dreams (and jobs) are depending on the game’s success at retail. Our hands-on time with Infinity during E3 2013 assured us of the quality of the final product, and with plans already in motion to expand post-release with additional action figures there’s no telling just how much bigger the game will become.
Whether or not the title will be the smashing success many are hoping remains to be seen, but the wait won’t be much longer, as Disney Infinity will be arriving on Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3, and PC this August 18th.
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