Last week Disney held a press conference in Los Angeles to reveal most of the details of their upcoming (June 2013) release DISNEY INFINITY. Disney Infinity is being called ‘Disney’s answer to Skylanders‘ because of the use of collectible toys to unlock characters and worlds in the game. From what we’ve seen thus far on Disney Infinity they are definitely paying ‘tribute’ to the Skylanders franchise and even have their own ‘Portal of Power’ to incorporate toys into the video game.
Some things that Disney has working in their advantage are that the characters and brands are already well-known properties so there will be little (if any) additional marketing needed to introduce audiences into the worlds of Monsters Inc, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Incredibles and more. Another plus is online multiplayer – something Skylanders or the sequel Skylanders Giants doesn’t offer in any form. Disney Infinity looks to offer up a sandbox world set in various Disney universes and exploring with a friend locally or online has a very strong appeal.
On the flip-side of the coin – where Skylanders ruled the ‘toys come to life market’ was in their individual characters. Skylanders toys level up, wear different hats, talk, light up, work on every platform possible (even iOS) – will Disney Infinity toys be this versatile and advanced? From what little gameplay we’ve seen so far from Disney Infinity – it appears that challenges unlock upgrades into the world and not so much the individual characters. Another concern we have is that games geared towards ‘youth audience’ (like Skylanders) benefit in a simple story that can be played by someone at any age and Disney Infinity is a sandbox game with many challenges and doesn’t appear to have a singular story.
At this point Disney Infinity looks intriguing and fun and worth gathering more info on — ultimately the game feels more like a LEGO-style game like LEGO Batman 2 with a portal-like device to unlock characters to use in the game. LEGO Batman 2 sold well in 2012 so if Disney can combine the fun of that type of game with the collecting aspect of Skylanders then they will most likely have a huge hit on their hands.
Disney Infinity Reveal Trailer