So much for Disney being “completely behind” its Disney Infinity game series. The company has just announced that it’s pulling the plug on the Infinity line and is exiting the self-publishing console games business altogether. Doing so has resulted in a $147 million charge in the Walt Disney Company’s Q2 2016 earnings. Back in March, Disney suggested it would slow development of the “toys-to-life” game which first launched in 2013, but gave no indication it planned to walk away from the series entirely.
In a blog post, SVP John Blackburn expanded on the decision, saying “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.” Moving forward, Disney will transition its console strategy to exclusively focus on licensing — not direct publishing.
Disney Infinity has seen major new releases each year, introducing popular characters from Disney / Pixar films, the Marvel universe, and most recently integrating Star Wars characters in Disney Infinity 3.0. Only a month ago, Disney had pledged to make the 3.0 title its “biggest game ever” through upcoming downloadable content — a way to make up for the lack of a completely new version 4.0. Well, it seems that’s no longer the plan. But the company does plan to release previously announced character sets from Alice Through The Looking Glass later this month and Finding Dory in June. The rest of those updates, though? Not so much.
That other popular toys-to-life series, Skylanders, remains in production and a huge hit for Activision. And though Disney is bailing on consoles for now, the company still has a presence in mobile gaming. “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,” said Blackburn.
“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. This means that we will be shutting down Avalanche, our internal studio that developed the game. This was a difficult decision that we did not take lightly given the quality of Disney Infinity and its many passionate fans.”