If you live in the UK in the general vicinity of the White Cliffs of Dover, you might have noticed the rather large images of some of your favorite Disney/Pixar characters illuminated along the coastline, stretching from 1600 feet across and 260 feet tall.
This is the most recent of Disney advertising for their new game, Disney Infinity, a toy/video-game combination that Disney has spent a whopping $100 million on in attempts to turn around Disney Interactive, which has lost $1.4 billion in five years.
Disney Infinity was released August 18th, and is so far being met with fairly positive reviews.
“Disney Infinity is really all about celebrating the wonder of toys, and that concept is really sold through some lovely deft touches. For instance, Jack’s just a tad too short to see clearly over the helm of the Black Pearl; the robots you fight as Mr. Incredible have visible battery slots; and or when you ‘die’ you break apart like a neglected plaything. These really are toys that have come to life,” reported Daniel Krupa of IGN.
The starter pack comes with three Play Sets, with one character from each world. Jack Sparrow, Sully, and Mr. Incredible are all given to you- but this game is focused on more recent characters such as these, with little room for our favorite classics like Snow White.
While the game is focused on more contemporary stories, that doesn’t mean that you won’t run into your old favorites- or that they do a poor job of setting up the worlds that they have created.
“Each Play Set really embraces its unique setting in a way that shows not only an abundance of imagination but also a canny respect for its source material… It’s an enchanting experience that succeeds in adapting one of the richest fictional universes into a surprisingly rich game,” said Krupa.
Disney has struggled in the past with interactive games- Club Penguin, Epic Mickey, and Playdom are all generally as flops. So, the company is counting on the toys to bring in revenue, as you have to continue to buy the different, plastic figurines in order to play various characters.
The Wall Street Journal spoke more of what Disney has in stake for Disney Infinity:
Speaking with Wall Street analysts in February, [Disney CEO Robert] Iger acknowledged the high stakes. “If ‘Infinity’ does well, it bodes very well for the bottom line of this unit,” he said. “If it doesn’t do well, the opposite will be the case.” If “Infinity” flops, Disney would likely have to re-evaluate its videogame strategy, possibly shifting to an all-licensing model. The interactive unit’s remaining operations would consist of producing online content and mobile apps.
“It’s a Hail Mary with a tremendous amount of pressure to be a hit,” said a person who recently left Disney’s videogame business. As it pours resources into “Infinity,” Disney Interactive has pulled back in other areas. It halted production on an “Iron Man” game scheduled for release this year, for instance, and passed on the opportunity to produce “Star Wars” games following its parent company’s purchase of Lucasfilm.
If you want to learn more about Disney Infinity, you can watch this video:
Alissa is a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, studying Media Arts & Technology. Her hometown is in the Middle-of-Nowhere, NY, where winter is approximately 6 months of the year. She is extremely nerdy, and loves all things animated, literary, or Harry Potter related. Her older sister spawned her love of animation by dragging her downstairs at 2 a.m. every morning and making her watch various films until their parents took them back to bed. Some of her all-time favorite films include Mulan, The LEGO Movie, Up, Tangled, and The Lion King. She also collects old Peanuts comic strips, and spends her free time reading, writing for the Rotoscopers, and working a variety of jobs. You can follow Alissa on Instagram and Twitter: @ThisAlissa. See her work here.