In a shock announcement, Disney has announced that toys-to-life game Disney Infinity 3.0 will be the last in the franchise. The company is hanging up its Game Publisher boots, discontinuing the series and shutting down in-house developer Avalanche. 300 staff are now without a job.
Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of consumer products and interactive media at Disney, explains:
This was a difficult decision that we did not take lightly given the quality of Disney Infinity and its many passionate fans.
Instead of publishing its own games, Pitaro explained that Disney would now focus its video game approach solely on licensing. This means that while Infinity is out, games like EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront are still well and truly in. The company blamed “lack of growth” for the decision – particularly in the toys-to-life market. (After an impressive boom in 2015, the market is already shrinking.)
John Blackburn, SVP and GM of Disney Infinity, has written an open letter to fans:
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.
If you were waiting for more playsets, there are a couple still on the way – Alice Through the Looking Glass and Finding Dory will still receive new content. However, the playsets based on Star Wars: Rogue One that were in development have now been scrapped.
And as we turn to the next chapter in our story, I want to thank everyone who helped bring Disney Infinity to life, particularly Disney’s Glendale-based production and publishing teams, our external development partners, and of course the incredible Avalanche team for their tireless dedication to this project.
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.
The sad news came from a new earnings update, which also revealed that sales from Disney’s toy and gaming division dropped by two percent (to $1.2 billion), and operating income sagged eight percent (to $357 million). Closing Avalanche will cost Disney $147 million, in case you were curious.