When Disney and Avalanche Software released the original Disney Infinity, it was planned to be the next big toys to life experience. Instead, the game’s servers were unceremoniously shut down with little fanfare last month.
We personally bought all of the figures and power discs including the Crystal figures across the three entries in the series to build up quite the collection. We even paid over the odds for the D23 Mickey Mouse. Originally intended for the children to play with, it became something I used more and found myself collecting and paying for the collection.
While the official story about why Disney pulled the plug on Disney Infinity revolves around the over production of toys and Disney management looking at other areas of gaming, we have our own theories around what happened and why we feel sales slumped towards the end causing the closure of the servers.
- With every release of the next iteration in the franchise, the toys you had become less important. The games’ story modes could only be played with the characters from that franchise. So you couldn’t use Buzz Lightyear in The Avengers for example. The new entries weren’t backwards compatible either. Instead, Avalanche Software and Disney should have made Infinity 2.0 and 3.0 into expansion pack DLC and use the original as the launchpad for the content. That would have tied all three together and is something that LEGO Dimensions seems to have considered with their approach.
- Between Disney Infinity and the sequels, both Sony and Microsoft released new consoles with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. While the portal would function across console generations, the games themselves didn’t. So if you upgraded you would need to power up your old console just to play the original game. Not a great requirement, especially if you traded in your console to buy the new one.
- Disney Infinity never really dug into the Disney classics like Pluto and Goofy. Instead, they focused on the newer franchises from the animation powerhouse. That is all fine and well but like I say, the collection of toys became a personal collection costing many hundreds of dollars in total. Not something that a kid is going to pay for on their own. So why Disney didn’t appeal to its older audience, the ones that could and were buying their toys is unknown. A mix of franchises both old and new per generation would have appealed more to all age groups.
We’ll remember the time we had with Disney Infinity with fond memories and know it could have been executed so much better. In the end, the discs are in their boxes and the toys are on display or in a box and maybe one day we’ll break them out to play again.
Disney Infinity and the figures can still be bought for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The games can still be played, you just can’t play online multiplayer, which never really worked anyway, or download community made creations.