Disney finally lifted the veil off of their mysterious “Infinity” project this week, and to no one’s surprise, Disney Infinity is a product that seems poised to make the media giant millions of dollars.
To put it in the simplest terms possible, Disney Infinity is basically Skylanders with Disney characters. Players can buy actual, real world figures and then “import” them into the Disney Infinity game using an NFC (near field communications) base that players connect to their Xbox 360, Wii U, PS3, Wii, or PC via USB. As with Skylanders, data saved to a figure on one system can be used on all other systems.
Disney Infinity’s key difference from Skylanders (besides its use of licensed characters,) are its Play Sets. Play Sets come packaged with sets of figures and according to Disney, each Play Set is basically its own game with its own storyline and gameplay goals: for instance, the Play Set based on Pixar’s Cars is a racing game, while the Play Set based on The Incredibles is an action game. Once players complete a Play Set, they can import individual elements of that game into Disney Infinity’s Toy Box mode, which is basically a Little Big Planet-style sandbox that lets players create their own levels and gameplay styles.
Disney says Infinity will launch with an initial line-up of about 40 figures, ranging from animated franchises like Toy Story and Aladdin all the way up to Disney’s live action movies, like Pirates of the Caribbean and Tron. As you probably know, Disney also owns the rights to the Marvel universe and Star Wars, so there’s a chance that characters from those franchises may end up appearing in Disney Infinity as well.
The Disney Infinity starter pack, which includes the game, the sensor base, and three figures to get you started, will set you back $75. Additional Play Sets will run you $35 each, and individual figures will cost $12.99. Disney Infinity certainly isn’t cheap, but considering how much money people have spent on Skylanders figures, I think it’s already been proven that people are willing to pay a premium for interactive toys.
Skylanders has already made about a bazillion dollars for Activision, and Infinity seems poised to make Disney even more money than that: the strength of some of these Disney franchises alone will probably be enough to guarantee Infinity’s success, and the Play Set’s ability to expand the game indefinitely seems like it might give Disney Infinity some staying power even after the Skylanders fad dies out.
Disney Infinity is set to launch on consoles this June. A mobile version for smartphones is set to follow soon after.