Exactly one year ago, Disney officially unveiled its ambitious new game, Disney Infinity, on stage at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California. Billed as a gaming platform, where distinct games could be played and the different characters from those games could then interact in a special infinitely customizable mode, it was a huge new venture for Disney Interactive. When those games are based on properties such as Monsters University, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Incredibles, you know you are in for something special. After the break, take a look back at what we have seen from Disney Infinity in the year since its unveiling!
On January 15, 2013, Disney peeled back the details on the highly rumored project, instantly changing the Disney gaming landscape. Never before had the gaming division put so much work into one idea, and you could tell from speaking with the members of the development team at Avalanche Software. Although many equated Disney Infinity‘s use of physical (and highly collectible) figures to Skylanders, Disney differentiated the game by highlighting its utilization of its well-known characters along with game tokens called power discs that endowed those figures with extra abilities, unlocked additional content for building and customizing levels and more. Disney Infinity is much more than a version of Skylanders.
When one buys the Disney Infinity starter pack, three Play Sets and figures are found packaged along with the game disc itself. The Mr. Incredible, Jack Sparrow, and Sulley figures, stylized to appear just like they do in the game, have a nice weight to them, characterizing the high quality of the figures, and making them an instant buy for collectors. Additionally, a power disc pack is included, allowing gamers to start adding and customizing their very own Toy Box levels right away. The incredible amount of themes, objects, vehicles, and weapons to choose from truly demonstrates the great replay value from the Toy Box mode alone. Add in the almost weekly Toy Box themes that the Disney Interactive team makes available for download, and you have every reason to power up the game often.
Soon after the splashy event in January, Disney Interactive pulled back the curtain on other Play Sets, which this time would feature characters from Cars, The Lone Ranger, and Toy Story. Priced under the cost of a full game, the individual Play Sets pack in two figures and a game where one can play with the included characters. Beyond that, though, those characters then become available for play in the Toy Box mode, where you can mix Lightning McQueen from Cars and Dash from The Incredibles, and see who can win in a race on a track that you built, for example.
Individual figures have also been sold at retail, including Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Rapunzel from Tangled, Woody from Toy Story, and coming soon are others such as Phineas and Ferb. Even months after the release of Disney Infinity, new content is consistent, which even today, with games’ online modes providing downloadable upgrades, is not as common as you would think. New power disc packs continue to be released, with its packaging into random sets encouraging collecting and trading. The amount of work that has been put in, and continues to be put in, by Disney Interactive and Avalanche is a testament to how passionate they are and how much they believe in their product, easily seen throughout the game.
Perhaps that is why Disney Infinity has shifted well more than 1 million units. According to Variety‘s report in October, the game had sold through about 294,000 starter packs in the United States in August. Arriving at over a million, weeks later, indicates that it is not only a worldwide hit, but that sales have been consistent, and have not been limited to just the opening days, a trend we are accustomed to seeing. Now, three months following that report, which included the holiday shopping season, sales figures of the starter packs are surely significantly higher. That does not even include the later releases, including the Play Sets, individual figures, power disc packs, and exclusives for different retailers. If you found yourself shopping for anything Disney Infinity recently, it would not have been surprising to see shelves cleared out from gamers purchasing everything they could get their hands on.
As we look to the past, we can also look to the future for the prospects of follow-up games. When can we see a Disney Infinity 2? You cannot speak about the game without fans asking about Marvel and Star Wars characters, as both properties have been added to the Disney family in recent years. Also, classic Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy, and Goofy are waiting on the sidelines for their turn to be called, which I would imagine is not too far away. My guess would be that we will hear more about a sequel sometime soon. After all, now that both gamers and non-gamers have shown they love what Disney Infinity has given them, how much longer can Disney wait to give the fans what they want?
Disney Infinity is now on sale worldwide. Have you been living under a rock and want to catch up with mostly everything that has been released so far in one fell swoop? Check out the Disney Infinity Infinite bundle, which comes with a Sorcerer Mickey figure months before its release, exclusively on Amazon.com.
This article is cross-posted with The Pixar Times.