Unfortunately the huge company behind many of our favourite childhood movies and recent acquisition of the Star Wars franchise has pulled away from the interactive-gaming-toy business, which is a huge shock considering the praise it received from the Disney Infinity range.
The company today told their investors that they’d be ending the Disney Infinity gaming franchise. This series of fantastic games allowed their fanbase of players to buy a physical toy for use on the provided platform, bringing it into their video game – something we had seen previously in Activision’s Skylanders series which launched back in 2011.
However, much to our surprise, Disney Infinity is not performing as well as it used to and the Disney credited it by saying it was dragging down its consumer products and interactive media division. Even though the global gaming market is worth around $99.6 billion, a pretty significant slice of that figure is featured on mobile devices where Disney is now shifting a lot of its focus.
Disney also confirms that it will continue to release the Disney Infinity character playsets for the upcoming Disney film releases of Alice Through the Looking Glass and Finding Dory however the studio has ceased production on the sets of Star Wars: Rogue One, the recently announced spin off.
GamesBeat reached out to Disney for a statement regarding the situation, and provided us with the following information:
“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.”
This does confirm that the company will be ending the internal game-making productions we’ve put our hearts into. However, Disney have a new business model that will be moving on to licensing out their properties to third-parties; the most famous success they’ve had with this so far is with Star Wars and Marvel.
Disney made it very clear that no more games will be produced under their company because, in short, it’s too expensive and the interactive-toy market is beginning to lack. Disney’s CEO Bob Iger noted during an investors’ call today, that he knew the market was risky and the risks they worried about had caught up to them, also stating that Disney had lost confidence in the business.
The toys and gaming division of Disney had seen a 2% decrease in revenues down to $1.2 billion as well as an 8% hit to the operating income – down to $357 million (estimated figures).
“Lower operating income was primarily due to the impact of foreign currency translation due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against major currencies, lower operating margins and comparable store sales at our retail business, and lower results for [Disney] Infinity,” reads the company’s quarterly report. “These decreases were partially offset by higher licensing revenues.”
Even though Disney is taking a stand back from console game publishing, don’t be too upset as you will be seeing a lot more mobile games featuring the much beloved characters we see in the company. What do you think on the matter? Was this something that could’ve been overcome and perhaps there was things that could’ve been done better? Maybe they’d tried to compete with Skylanders and lost? Let us know down below in the comments, perhaps tell us your favourite characters from the series!