Disney on Tuesday announced an ambitious new gaming initiative, known simply as Infinity (very fitting), that intends to merge the many different Disney IPs into one open world. This is easily the biggest thing the company has ever attempted in gaming, and it actually sounds pretty dang fun.
If you’re a fan of the many different Disney worlds, or ever imagined the many characters hanging out amongst each other, that’s basically the gist of Infinity. But, from what I saw and heard from the minds behind the new cross platform project, there’s much more to it.
At the very least, the focus and message behind Infinity, which will come out in June, should be applauded. At the unveiling in LA, in front of media and fans, Disney expressly emphasized the creative elements behind the project, and how the company wants to encourage imaginative play, particularly in younger children.
John Lasseter, one of the key figures behind the game, repeatedly talked about creativity and the innocence of children playing without limitations. That’s what Disney is hoping to capture in Infinity—there are no limits; your imagination is how you’ll experience the toy box world.
Disney described the initiative as such: an enormous series of interconnected adventures based on all the characters within Disney and Pixar universes. There are both “play sets,” and “discs,” which are the more physical elements of the game. Disney said that the three play sets—Pirates, Monsters University and The Incredibles—will come out first, with more to arrive throughout the year.
When you take your figurine and put it onto the disc, you’ll see that character onscreen and be able to play that world’s adventure or see them in the toy box. Adventures are more focused entries, based around your particular Play Set, while the toy box aspect is more open ended.
What’s interesting is that this isn’t just one single game. Disney said that each adventure world has its own gameplay and storyline focused around whichever property play set you prefer. Disney showed off Pirates of the Caribbean as an example, demoing the world from the first three movies along with elements from the ride at its theme park.
As part of the creativity element, Disney said that users participating in the Pirates universe can create their own ship, from the type of cannons, right on down to every single crew member.
The Toybox version of Disney Infinity—if you’ve played Toy Story 3’s mode you’ll know what it’s like—will allow players to mix and match the different Disney properties. So if you want to see Woody hang out with Jack Sparrow, you can easily do so in one place.
In that same open universe, Disney is also implementing a building mode (similar to how Minecraft works), that will allow players to conjure up anything they want: race-tracks, castles and even the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek. In addition, there’s a neat logic editor that applies basic programming. If you want, you can create your own style of game (sidescrolling, top-down, etc.), and even implement puzzling elements where you can press on a platform to initiative another platform.
Everything is connected, and there’s an enormous emphasis on multiplayer, so you can basically create your own Disney themed Frankenstein and share it with others.
It’s ambitious, it’s big and, if you’re a Disney fan, an absolute dream game. Disney wants to allow the world to explore what it’d be like if Dash from The Incredibles was running around with Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, etc., etc. The “infinite” aspect of the Toy Box mode sounds very fun and interesting, while the adventure aspect focused around particular play sets is equally intriguing. Look out for more information on Disney Infinity soon.
- Disney wants to create new and unexpected magical experiences; meet and push the bar of innovation and find interesting ways to tell familiar Disney stories.
- Each world has its own gameplay and storyline. You can play with precreated environments or create your own in the Toybox.
- Disney said there will be a connected mobile experience at launch.
- The project was inspired by Avalanche’s work on Toy Story 3, and from there the idea was taken much further. Disney wants kids to be able to play with characters and the world freely, just how they would in real life. “The more nutty and more insane you can be, the better,” Disney said.
- There’s a lot of emphasis on changing stories and changing scenarios. Outside of more linear “adventures,” the toybox element will be completely open.
- The building elements look very similar to Minecraft and Sim City. Disney said there are literally hundreds of building pieces so the possibilities are endless. When you build your own Disney world, you can customize things like terrain and sky so it feels like your own personal theme park.
- Disney said it plans on holding contests for things like building the best castle, etc.
- Adventures will allow cooperative play, while the Toy Box mode will allow for up to four players.
- The masterminds behinds the project say Infinity will grow and get better over time.
- Disney will release a new play set for every new Disney movie that comes out.
BURBANK, Calif. – (JANUARY 15, 2013) – Disney Interactive today unveiled its most ambitious gaming initiative ever, Disney Infinity. This all new game platform unlocks the freedom to create stories and play experiences starring beloved characters from The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Animation Studios. Disney Infinity allows players to both experience original adventures in some of their favorite Disney and Pixar worlds and to build their own worlds using the power of their imagination.
“Disney Infinity introduces a new way to interact with the best of Disney on one game platform, both now and in the future,” said John Pleasants, co-president, Disney Interactive. “With this innovative approach to gaming, Disney Infinity will bring to life new characters, stories and environments from The Walt Disney Company over time in a way that will delight fans and gamers alike.”
In a way that only Disney can, Disney Infinity integrates collectible character figures that come to life in the game. These figures provide experiences that are true to these characters and stories, as well as the opportunity to bring characters from various Disney and Pixar films to play together in a virtual “Toy Box.” This all-new game universe will launch in June across all consoles and will have a phased roll out across mobile and online devices throughout 2013.
Throughout each story-driven experience, called a “Play Set,” players will solve challenging puzzles, battle enemies and explore iconic locations from famous Disney properties, while collecting unique characters, vehicles, and gadgets from each world and saving them to a virtual “Toy Box.” Players can access their “Toy Box” and build and customize their own unique virtual world using their favorite characters, vehicles, settings and accessories. Disney Infinity allows players the opportunity to share these unique creations in the “Toy Box” mode with friends both online and off.
The Disney Infinity Platform includes:
• Disney Infinity Interactive Pieces – Initially a line of 40 collectible interactive pieces will be introduced that allow players to expand and customize their play experiences.
• Disney Infinity Interactive Character Figures – Seventeen character figures will allow players to experience a variety of their favorite characters in true to property experiences and in “Toy Box” mode.
• Disney Infinity Base – When figures are placed on the Infinity base, they unlock the world and play experiences of Disney Infinity. • Disney Infinity Power Discs – Interactive discs can be placed on the Infinity base to power up characters and “Toy Box” with unique powers, customizations and gadgets.
“Disney Infinity combines prominent Disney and Pixar characters and scenarios in a way that mimics how kids play in real life,” said John Blackburn, vice president and general manager, Avalanche Software. “With our platform’s unique gameplay mechanics and innovative approach to user generated content within the “Toy Box” mode, Disney Infinity will spark imaginations and provide endless hours of fun and creativity.”
Development for Disney Infinity is being led by Disney Interactive and Avalanche Software.