Buzz Lightyear, Jack Sparrow, the characters from "Monsters Inc." and "The Incredibles" are all getting ready to play together and interact in a new kind of virtual universe.
It's a big weekend for Disney's struggling Interactive division, which is overhauling its strategy with a brand-new video game platform due to hit stores Sunday.
The new product called "Disney Infinity" is a departure from the media giant's strategy in a number of ways: It brings together characters from far-flung Disney and Pixar worlds, in an unprecedented mashup, and it ditches a strategy of creating stand-alone console games.
The game platform starts with a $75 starter pack—comes with three game figurines, which have accompanying video game content, and a base, which plugs into any of the consoles. ...
This replaces Disney's money-losing strategy of introducing a stand-alone $60 console game for each big movie release—Disney's Interactive unit has lost $1.4 billion since 2008.
Recently the division slashed its employee numbers and closed a number of studios that make stand-alone games, as it looked for more profitable ways to tap into the value of its brands. ...
Diz Co. has long eaten it in the games realm.
The company builds a video game division, loses large amounts of money, closes (or drastically downsizes) said division. TAG has been marginally involved in the Mouse's roller coaster ride because from time to time we help game artists and animators when Disney is slipping them the axe. (A few years back, the company was cutting its Glendale game studio down to a nub and we assisted employees who were having their Personal Service Contracts stomped on.)
This time around, Disney is taking a leaf out of Activision's Skylander book, and seeing if it can generate some serious coin from a broader, interlinked model. Early indications are encouraging, but we'll jsut wait and see, won't we?