Last week Disney announced that they are getting out of the video game making business and shutting down Disney Interactive, thus putting an end to the Disney Infinity game line. They will no longer be publishing their own games and are going back to a license only model. Why? Because it wasn’t profitable enough.
For whatever reason a post I wrote about why I don’t like Disney Infinity is one of the more popular blog entries I’ve ever done, so people want to know my opinion on this. You might assume I’m happy to see the end of a series I didn’t enjoy. And that’s not really the case.
For one thing, I have a friend through the comic community who worked at Avalanche Software on the Disney Infinity games, and now he and all of his coworkers lost their jobs. Which sucks. Especially in this job market. And it sounds like they had no warning it was coming. So I feel for them.
I never hated the games, I just didn’t like them. And there is a difference. When I hate something I want to see it fail, when I don’t like something I just try not to make it part of my life. I never played 2.0 or 3.0, despite obviously being into Marvel, Star Wars and the Disney properties. Why? Because I just didn’t enjoy the first game, and my kids didn’t care much for it either.
I bought the first game on the Wii and was pretty upset to find out about all the limitations that version had. Not just that it was more limited than the other system versions, but that they didn’t let you know that before you bought it. It was advertised as being identical to the rest, and it wasn’t.
It was also fairly glitchy and had a confusing interface. I found the story modes to be kind of fun, but they were pretty short and the Wii version did not allow for co-op play with my son, which was a huge disappointment. I also thought it was pretty lame that you were forced to use characters from those stories to play them. Wasn’t the whole point of this thing to be mixing all the Disney worlds together? So if you want to play two player story mode you better not have the Wii version, and you better buy two characters from each story you want to play, and buy that story’s little trophy that lets you play it, and navigate the menu to start the story mode. Overly complicated and expensive stuff.
And I didn’t care for much beyond the story mode. The much heralded toy box mode was pretty boring for me. I found the building interface to be really clunky and the multiplayer appeal almost non-existent. The character specific mini-games were really limited and did not have much replay value. And there really wasn’t a whole lot beyond that.
So overall I was really let down. I was excited for the game and even preordered it for my birthday, but ended up wishing I had just saved my money. Eventually I got a Wii U and bought that version, but I think my kids and I were already pretty soured with the whole thing, so I never played a lot of it. And nothing from the new versions ever excited me enough to give it another try.
It was really expensive to collect everything and the fun just didn’t seem to be there. Plus it all felt like such an obvious Skylanders ripoff, except it was not as well made. So we stuck with that series.
But that doesn’t mean I wanted Disney Infinity to die. Sure, I didn’t enjoy it, but some people seemed to. And it didn’t affect me if they kept making them. I wasn’t wasting anymore money on something I didn’t like. I wasn’t picking fights with fanboys or harboring any ill will toward the property. I just didn’t like the game, wrote about it and moved on. And somehow what I wrote went a little viral and I got to hear from both people who loved and loathed it.
So there’s my thoughts on the death of Disney Infinity. Will it be missed? Maybe, but not by me.