Fate of Epic Mickey developer unclear, shutdown rumored

Junction Point, the Texas-based developer of the Epic Mickey franchise, is in trouble. In fact, Warren Spector's studio may be getting shut down entirely.

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Junction Point, the Texas-based developer of the Epic Mickey franchise, is in trouble. In fact, Warren Spector's studio may be getting shut down entirely.

Joystiq noticed a tweet from Austin-based Roberts Space Industries: "Second 21 gun salute for a studio in 7 days. Fare-the-well Junction Point! We hope that you all find new studios soon!" Last week, Vigil Games also shut down after failing to be acquired at the THQ fire sale.

Cuts at the studio were seemingly inevitable after Epic Mickey 2 launched to both critical and financial failure. According to Joystiq, the sequel sold only 270K copies in North America last year. While we've sent request for comments from Disney and Spector, Kotaku's Jason Schreier brings up a good point: "Very weird that the only source for Junction Point rumors is one tweet. If the studio has shut down, shouldn't there be more by now?"

We'll update this story with more information as it comes.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 28, 2013 3:45 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Fate of Epic Mickey developer unclear, shutdown rumored.

    Junction Point, the Texas-based developer of the Epic Mickey franchise, is in trouble. In fact, Warren Spector's studio may be getting shut down entirely.

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      January 28, 2013 4:02 PM

      Ok i've heard enough of the layoffs... You want change in your studio and don't want to put out a garbage game? Hire some of the people that will be reviewing your game and have them play whatever you've started and show them everything that's on the table for the finished product of that game. If they don't like DON'T MAKE IT....

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        January 28, 2013 4:10 PM

        That's not how Disney operates. They made an effort for a couple years to make good games, but slowly didn't' care because the bottom line was that Hannah Montana iphone games made a lot more money.

        Can't blame JP or Spector completely for shoveling out crappy games. There was some good ideas in there, but the structure at Disney shutting down their game production is the cause of it all.

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          January 28, 2013 4:23 PM

          The first studios to fall victim to that change were Black Rock (Pure, Split Second) and Propaganda (which was doubly painful, considering that their in-development Pirates of the Carribean game got canned before Tron Evolution was released, and then after that didn't sell so well, the studio was closed down). Junction Point was pretty much the last non-licensed, non-casual, and/or non-mobile studio under the Disney Interactive name.

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        January 28, 2013 5:19 PM

        You are describing mock reviews. Big publishers do them, a lot. A lot of people who freelance write about games participate in them. Former writers like N'Gai Croal have made good a business out of it.

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        January 28, 2013 8:06 PM

        Phew thanks this is just the advice they needed.

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        January 29, 2013 8:36 AM

        You are talking about focus groups basically and making a game geared to focus groups isn't going to guarantee anything.

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      January 28, 2013 4:04 PM

      ...and it all started with a trade in 2006 between Disney and NBC: Al Michaels for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2324417

      I forget what episode of Idle Thumbs it was in, but Sean Vanaman talked about it a bit, since he was at Disney Interactive at the time.

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      January 28, 2013 4:10 PM

      Did Epic Mickey 2 ever come out for PC?

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        January 28, 2013 4:37 PM

        no

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          January 28, 2013 7:50 PM

          Hopefully they aren't outright cancelled, I am still strangely interested.

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            January 29, 2013 8:22 AM

            It's really mediocre. And I say that as someone who genuinely enjoyed the first game. :(

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      January 28, 2013 9:13 PM

      I'll say it again.

      Forget Disney Warren, come back and make another immersive simulation.

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      January 28, 2013 11:01 PM

      After playing the first one just in the last few months, I can't say that I'm surprised. There was potential but it had some really big issues. I don't know how much was the publisher side vs Spector vs the actual team but it seemed that they didn't really improve all that much with the sequel. It's a real shame.

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      January 28, 2013 11:07 PM

      Rumor on the street is that Retro Studios has hired staff from Vigil, Junction Point and Bioware Austin.

      This may be true :/

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        January 29, 2013 6:04 AM

        On the upside, Retro is still around and making games. C'mon, Metroid Prime U!

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          January 29, 2013 6:12 AM

          isnt there also a rumor going around that retro is "Working on a big N franchise in secret that will be unveiled around E3"

          i put it in quotes because i think i remember reading that on joystiq or something.

          It godamn better bte METROID PRIME 4 because if it is, ill buy a wiiu

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            January 29, 2013 7:14 AM

            their Wikipedia article quotes something to the effect of "we're working on something everyone wants us to work on" so the smart money says yes, Metroid

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              January 29, 2013 7:15 AM

              2d metroid plz

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                January 29, 2013 7:56 AM

                Super Metroid U with the Shadow Complex 2D/3D thing.

                I need to change my pants now.

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              January 29, 2013 8:37 AM

              F2P Myst MMO. Pay 1 dollar to rotate a tower 0.1 degrees.

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            January 29, 2013 7:53 AM

            Yeah, that or my secret hope is Star Fox. I'd love to see a Metroid game but that's pretty much a given that one will show up, Star Fox skipped last gen and wasn't very good the gen before that so a reboot of that franchise would be fantastic.

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            January 29, 2013 11:34 AM

            The other part of the rumor is that it's a franchise that people would expect Retro to make.

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          January 29, 2013 11:33 AM

          Oh I know! I just got my copy of Metroid Prime Trilogy the other day, so excited to play them again!

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