In a sudden surprise move, Disney has canceled the continuing Disney Infinity toys-to-life games, and closed the developer behind them, Avalanche. The company will take a $147 million hit as a result.
In an earnings call (via Game Informer), chairman and CEO Bob Iger explained the decision. “We thought we had a really good opportunity to launch our own product in that space… But [the toys-to-life] business is a changing business and we did not have enough confidence in the business in terms of it being stable enough to stay in it from a self-publishing perspective.”
Continuing, “You know that you take on substantially more risk, particularly when it comes to manufacturing and managing the inventory, the toy inventory, of that business… We just feel that it’s a changing space and that we’re just better off at managing the risk that that business delivers by licensing instead of publishing. It’s just that simple.”
He did take the chance to dissuade any thoughts that the decision was due to poor quality however. “We actually made a good product. I give the developer a lot of credit for the product that they made. It was extremely well-received. But we knew going in that there would be a lot of risk with this product and the fact that we did so well initially gave us the confidence to continue with it. The truth of the matter is that the risks that we saw at the beginning when we started this caught up with us.”
Speaking in a post on Disney Interactive’s website, Avalanche Senior Vice President John Blackburn said, “From the beginning, Disney Infinity was built for you—our fans—and I wanted to take a moment to thank you not just for your support over the years, but for creating a community that made Disney Infinity more than just a game… 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.”
Later this month will see three new characters released for Alice Through the Looking Glass, with a Finding Dory Playset following in June. But all future Disney Infinity toys and games beyond that have been canceled.
Avalanche has been developing games for 20 years. Our thoughts go out to the roughly 300 developers affected by this closure and we wish them the very best of luck finding new positions.
Are you sad to see Disney Infinity go? Let us know in the comments.