It has now been a few days since Disney announced the cancellation of Disney Infinity, the closure of Avalanche Software, and that Disney is pulling out of video game publishing. This made no sense at first seeing as Disney was just bragging a few months ago about how Disney Infinity was the best selling Toys-to-Life game on the market. Upon first discovering this news, I was devastated. After all, Disney Infinity has grown to be truly one of the most creative and unique games with a deeply passionate community. Though the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
Activision’s Skylanders has been on the decline for the past few years and with last year’s inclusion of LEGO Dimensions, the market has begun to get both crowded and fatigued. Even though Disney has been out-performing the competition, they have not necessarily been making a fortune. Sure, Disney Infinity has been making money and is no doubt a success, but the perhaps Disney saw the writing on the wall. After all, it is better to get out while you still can.
Though the news is sad, this is not the end of seeing Disney owned properties in video games. Disney has stated that moving forward, their plan is to license out Disney properties to other publishers. This is similar to Disney’s current deal that EA that allows them licensing to create Star Wars games. Various publishers will now theoretically be able to get the rights to any Disney property. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for Disney related video games.
We now live in a world where video games based off of licensed properties can be just as good as original IPs (e.g. the Batman Arkham series). Theoretically, Ubisoft could now make the greatest Avengers game the world has ever seen. This realization of new possibilities is exciting and perhaps it is the true silver lining in all of this. After all, Disney does not necessarily have the best track record for making good Disney games, but other companies do. Some of the most beloved Disney related games of all time include Duck Tales, Aladdin, and Kingdom Hearts, all of which were not created by Disney. Without Disney limiting their properties to just themselves, other developers can get their hands on Disney IPs and create more fantastic games.
Of course, the future is currently shaky. Disney Infinity still has a few months of content left before it is officially over and until something new is announced, we will still only have the cancellation of Disney Infinity to dwell on.
Are you excited for the future of Disney video games? Let us know what you think!