Disney may be experiencing a renaissance as the popular cross-media publisher of everything from Star Wars until Inside out until Captain America. That list no longer includes video games. The company has just announced that it is going out of business Disney Infinity line of games and associated collectible toys, and it will end its “self-published console games business” altogether.
Disney Infinity Senior VP and General Manager John Blackburn said in a surprise announcement today that “we have made the difficult decision to Disney Infinity. From the beginning, Disney Infinity was built for you – our fans – and I want to take a moment to thank you not only for your support over the years, but for creating a community that Disney Infinity more than just a game.” Blackburn promised there would be two final retail releases of it Infinity toy playsets in the next two months, before the line shuts down completely.
In an earnings report today, Disney said it will write off a $147 million write-off related to the shutdown of its console business, largely due to Infinity. The company’s latest earnings report cites “lower results for Infinityas part of the reason for a slight decline in the Consumer Products & Interactive Media division’s revenue and earnings.
Today’s announcement comes one month after Disney’s announcement Disney Infinity 3.0 would no longer receive updates on the Apple TV or the PC. Industry analyst Michael Pachter estimated that late last year Disney Infinity and its associated toy line earned more than $200 million in 2015.
Disney Infinity launched in 2013 as the company’s answer to Activision’s popularity Skylanders and the toys-to-life segment it inspired. Infinity toys and power discs interacted with an NFC base to unlock characters, environments, and items in the companion multiplatform video game.
Although most famous for Infinity in recent years, Disney Interactive has been responsible for character-themed games such as Fantasia: music evolved, Epic Mickeyand Ducktales: Remasteredas well as racing titles such as Pure and Fraction of a second.
Disney Interactive also took a hard – and surprising – pass on the treatmentStar Warsspecific games after Lucasfilm was sold to the Disney/ABC empire. After closing LucasArts and canceling the star wars 1313 game, Disney entered into a multi-year licensing agreement with EA to transfer ownership of the game. Last week, EA announced that another game development studio, Respawn Entertainment, would also launch a Star Wars-themed game in the future.