Disney has confirmed that it is leaving the games industry to others, and will abandon its Infinity collectable platform following the planned release of two more expansion packs.
Similar to Skylanders and Nintendo's Amiibo and building on the success of collectable card games like Pokemon, Disney Infinity allowed gamers - typically, though far from exclusively, of the younger persuasion - to unlock additional content and characters through the purchase of physical collectable figurines with embedded Near-Field Communication (NFC) tags. By tying the in-game content to real-world objects, companies including Disney found that gamers and parents of gamers were happier about splashing their cash to expand the game - but that success is apparently not enough for Disney.
In a blog post
published late yesterday, Disney Infinity head John Blackburn confirmed that the franchise was to be shuttered following the launch of the next two collectable sets. 'We have two final retail releases coming, including three new characters from Alice Through the Looking Glass later this month, and the Finding Dory Play Set launching in June,
' Blackburn explained. 'Our goal for Disney Infinity was to bring the best of Disney storytelling to life in homes around the world, and with your support we accomplished that. We hope you had as much fun playing the game as we had making it.
The company's earnings report confirmed that it's not just Infinity that's for the chop: Disney has recorded a $147 million charge described as pertaining to 'the discontinuation of our self-published console games business
' and the closure of Avalanche Software with the loss of 300 jobs. The company will continue to licence its intellectual property to third-party developers and publishers, but this is not thought to include Infinity.
While production of Infinity collectables and development on the platform itself has ceased effective immediately, Disney has not yet issued a date for when it will shut the game's servers down.