In a rather shocking move that sent shockwaves throughout the toys-to-life landscape, Disney execs have decided to shut down their Avalanche Software division – the company’s gaming and software publication arm for almost 20 years which employs 300 or so personnel. This means that the curtain has now been closed on Disney Infinity as well, just 3 years after its debut in 2013. This is quite unexpected for fans of the game considering the exciting plans that were announced by John Vignocchi, Vice President of Production, and John Blackburn, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Infinity during their March 1 episode of Disney Infinity NEXT.
According to a letter that Blackburn released at Disney Interactive’s blog site, they have made “the difficult decision to discontinue production of Disney Infinity” without going into the details of explaining why. The LA Times reports that Disney CEO and Chairman Robert Iger said during a call with analysts that while Disney Infinity is hugely popular, the risk and costs of developing them in-house has caught up with the company. Iger said, “We thought we had a really good opportunity to launch our own product in that space. We did quite well with the first iteration of it, and we did OK with the second iteration, but that business is a changing business.” Revenues were on a downhill slide for Disney’s consumer products and interactive division which includes Disney Infinity. Disney reports lost revenue of as much as 2% to $1.2 billion. The popularity that came along with Disney Infinity also has a huge price tag amidst the tightening competition in the toys-to-life business. When Disney Infinity was launched in 2013, it costs the company $100 million in production alone.
Cinelinx also reports that Disney will be switching back to a pure licensing model and using partnerships with other gaming studios instead. The high cost of production vis-à-vis the poor revenue doesn’t add up for Disney to continue its in-house production of Disney Infinity. According to Blackburn, fans can still expect the last Disney Infinity figures of Alice Through the Looking Glass and a Finding Dory Playset to be out by June. This means that any speculations of adding more characters to its Marvel Battlegrounds roster, and a possibility of seeing a set from the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story film has finally put to an end.
This is discouraging news to all fans of Disney Infinity, who have invested heavily on the game. Will keep you posted as more news comes in.