BREAKING: Disney Infinity toys discontinued

In the wake of the announcement, Disney has announced that Avalanche Software has been closed.

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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.

Long Reads Editor

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    May 10, 2016 1:55 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, BREAKING: Disney Infinity toys discontinued

    • reply
      May 10, 2016 2:03 PM

      Whoa, man. Disney just can't get the video game industry

      I thought this line would be able to launch them into it more.

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      May 10, 2016 2:03 PM

      "the company incurred a $147 million charge and will no longer publisher video games."

      That's not surprising. Disney exited the publisher biz quite a few years ago. Shame on this announcement though. I thought this was a great idea. But, I wondered if being tied to Disney might limit how much violence they could put into some of the rock'em sock'em style of action stuff.

      Curious if all the toys just got stupid expensive because of collectors or if they just went on 1/2 off.

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        May 10, 2016 2:43 PM

        What I've heard, and I don't have experience with either game, is that Infinity was basically a me-too effort to mimic Skylanders, but with more emphasis on selling toys and less emphasis on actually being a fun game.

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          May 10, 2016 2:51 PM

          I have not played the latest Skylanders but both games are much better than I expected.

          Infinity has a sandbox mode where you can build stuff and while I can say I see the attraction, kids just freaking love it.

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          May 10, 2016 2:57 PM

          Well, it was more of a sandbox concept than Skylanders. But, yes, it was a bit of an alsoran effort. You had to get into the sandbox stuff to really get the full experience.

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      May 10, 2016 2:13 PM

      Wow this really sucks!

      My 8 year old really enjoys this game.

      We took a risk on infinity 2.0 when it was only $30 bucks at Target and it was way better than I expected.

      Since then I got him 3.0 for xmas and we have gotten a bunch of the guys.

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      May 10, 2016 2:20 PM

      Wow this is terrible news. At least they're still going to be putting out the upcoming Finding Dory and Alice In Wonderland stuff, but man. Really enjoyed what I played and was looking forward to continue playing it after I went through some more of my backlog.

    • reply
      May 10, 2016 2:32 PM

      This sucks for the employees, but I wonder if stores are going to clearance a bunch of the toys now. There are a few I would not mind picking up on the cheap.

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        May 10, 2016 2:35 PM

        i'd pick up a nick and judy

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        May 10, 2016 2:39 PM

        I just said the same thing to my wife. I don't own any of the Infinity games but man I really like the way the figures look haha.

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          May 11, 2016 4:19 AM

          Yeah I really like the style of them and I have been eying a bunch of the Marvel ones.

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      May 10, 2016 3:00 PM

      I can't believe they closed Avalanche because of this.

      • Ziz
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        May 11, 2016 6:55 AM

        It all just came crumbling down.

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      May 10, 2016 3:00 PM

      They had to be losing money on this somehow, right? Its hard to believe they could not make this work.

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        May 10, 2016 3:43 PM

        My guess is the slow down in consoles sales are behind this. You can't use toys to life with mobile phones. That's what all the kids are playing games on.

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          May 10, 2016 6:36 PM

          I think that's right. They made bad decisions with the games, too, but people are figuring out that these current consoles kinda suck compared to a modest PC.

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      May 10, 2016 3:39 PM

      Oh shit, I hope Johnny V is gonna be alright. He hasn't tweeted in two days. He must have been told this was coming.

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      May 10, 2016 3:56 PM

      Christ that's a lot of devs that just lost their jobs :(

      I can't believe they failed to make this work when they had the brand power of Marvel and Star Wars behind it

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      May 10, 2016 4:07 PM

      Were the toys not selling? That's super odd, I thought it was a cash cow.

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        May 10, 2016 4:13 PM

        I'm wondering how those games are going including Skylanders. I was in gamestop and there was a clearance bin full of the bases for these games.

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      May 10, 2016 5:43 PM

      I should probably get that Quorra figure, it'll be the closest we'll ever get to an Olivia Wilde fig

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      May 10, 2016 5:44 PM

      Seems like this could negatively affect gamestop or physical game stores

    • reply
      May 10, 2016 7:40 PM

      If these go to a few bucks a pop I'd easily grab 4-5.

      Hulkbuster Iron Man, Rocket Raccoon, Venom, Kylo Ren

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        May 10, 2016 8:36 PM

        I'd love to get a Venom, Iron Man, Hulkbuster, and Boba Fett

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      May 10, 2016 8:50 PM

      Disney Infinity super messed up by compartmentalizing their properties. They should have taken a page from the Lego games and had a story mode for each level that controlled which characters were usable and a free play mode that you could use anything you had. I wanted to fight the Empire with Baymax and it sucked that I couldn't. It made all the toys from the previous versions useless for anything but Toy Box mode.

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      May 10, 2016 9:00 PM

      Poor Johnny V. :(

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        May 10, 2016 11:20 PM

        Here's a song dedicated to him:
        https://open.spotify.com/track/3evmOm0vnEUTOCXocVtBVQ

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        May 11, 2016 6:01 AM

        Best thing out of this

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          May 11, 2016 6:01 AM

          I mean he rocks

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            May 11, 2016 6:33 AM

            I still have no idea what you're trying to say. :-\ It's good that he got let go? It's good that he's free to pursue other interests and opportunities?

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              May 11, 2016 7:02 AM

              No, he's the best thing to come out of that toy thing, he has good charisma and he fit the role well. Hope he succeeds in what comes next.

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        May 11, 2016 6:44 AM

        So far it looks like he's still got a job. But for how long? Is Disney going to farm him out to EA to shill for licensed SW games?

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      May 11, 2016 6:41 AM

      Good. It's basically selling you dlc of stuff that's already on the actual game you bought and then you scan the stupid toy to unlock the content you already purchased. Right? Ok I guess you get a plastic toy out the deal...but still. I feel like the whole thing is unnecessary

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      May 11, 2016 6:51 AM

      So 1.2 billion is considered a failure?!
      W.T.F?!

      In the Toys to Life genre, this was the best bang for the buck. Sorry to see you go Disney.
      But Ill never buy toys to life again. Thats a promise.