UPDATE: 258p Pacific
Earlier today, Disney surprised the gaming industry by announcing that Disney Infinity, its toys-to-life figures and games, would be discontinued. As a direct result, development studio Avalanche Software has been closed.
Now that the dust has had a chance to settle, Disney general manager John Blackburn has posted a public thank-you to the game's community for its support over the last three years. "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."
Blackburn shared Disney's plans for Infinity's final retail releases. Three new characters from Alice Through the Looking Glass will hit stores later this month. In June, a play set themed around Finding Dory will close up shop.
More than consumers were affected by today's sudden announcement. Blackburn thanked the developers at Avalanche for their hard work, as well as Disney's production and publishing divisions based in Glendale, California.
"But most of all, I want to again thank you for making Disney Infinity a part of your lives—and for adding to the Disney legacy by being a part of this community."
ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS
Disney has announced the closure of Avalanche Software, makers of its Disney Infinity "toys to life" products. As part of the announcement, Disney is ceasing support and production for Infinity products.
"Disney will continue to have a strong console gaming presence through licensing partners such as Electronic Arts and Square Enix, as the category provides a unique consumer experience as well as opportunity for our business," according to Disney's announcement (per Cinelinx).
The announcement may seem shocking, but further information from Disney reveals that toys-to-life games and figures are no longer as profitable as they used to be. "The team behind Disney Infinity created an incredible product. It was a critical success that inspired a deeply engaged community of players. But, despite Disney Infinity’s quality, it has become difficult to financially justify continued investment given the lack of growth in the toys-to-life market. Coupled with high development costs, the economics of our current vertical business model no longer add up."
Avalanche, unfortunately, has become collateral damage. Rather than pivot the studio, Disney opted to shutter it, leaving many developers out of work. "During this time of transition, we will work with impacted employees to provide resources and support, as well as explore potential internal opportunities. I am grateful to the team behind Disney Infinity, and want to once again thank everyone who has been a part of it."
The move signifies a shift in Disney's game publishing plans as well. According to a tweet from Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Fritz, the company incurred a $147 million charge and will no longer publish video games.