With Skylanders raking in some well-earned profits in the burgeoning toys to life genre, it was only a matter of time before some competition arose. The nearest such rival to that throne right now is Disney, with a solid line-up of characters and ideas. Disney Infinity gets an upgrade tonight. Here’s what went down earlier.
Various Disney creatives start talking about the process of creating worlds for the house of mouse, before developer Avalanche studio starts to emphasise the Toybox aspect of the 2013 game. And Samuel L Mother-loving Jackson is on, in Nick Fury garb! Fury has some intel to share, before Agent Coulson himself, Clark Gregg takes the stage.
Disney Interactive chief Jimmy Pitaro takes the stage, and starts talking about creating memories with Disney Infinity. In fact, Infinity ha sold more than three million starter packs since it launched. not bad. That equates to over $500 million in global sales so far, and according to North American NPD results, has outperformed its rivals.
So what’s next? “We need to add great new characters and add innovative gameplay that will take this experience to the next level,” says Pitarro. Game engine evolution, stability and creating various play experiences seem to be the core pillars of the future of Disney Infinity, according to Pitaro. Disney Infinity is being invested in, for the long run.
And it’s official! The next phase will be Disney Infinity: Marvel Superheroes! We’re treated to a short trailer, where Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye and the Hulk do battle, with supervillains Loki and Modok being teased, as well as Guardians of the Galaxy Groot and Rocket Raccoon. I AM GROOT.
Coulson is back out, and a tad scared that he just saw Loki, before introducing Marvel big boss and legend Joe Quesada. Coulson leaves to mull a conversion to HYDRA by appearing on Dancing with the Stars, before Quesada drops more details on the history of Marvel and Disney crossover. After giving a quick speech on how Marvel characters are more relatable due to their various foibles and hang-ups, Quesada then brings out mega popular comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis.
Quesada and Bendis then chat about how the artists at Marvel worked closely with Disney to create a look for their characters that would fit in with the world of Disney Infinity. Quesada and Bendis then introduce the new figures, which will indeed consist of the heroes introduced in the Avengers movie. Check ‘em out!
Disney Infinity executive producer John Vignocchi and vice president John Blackburn then appear next on stage to talk about all the new additions to the game.
The two Johns detail how Disney Infinity has been upgraded, such as all the characters, power base, power discs and toyboxes from the original Disney Infinity being fully compatible in Disney Infinity 2.0. That includes save games. The new starter pack is shown off and will include Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow and the Avengers toybox.
There’ll be new structured gameplay experiences based on existing genres in new themed toy-boxes according to the Johns, with more Disney-themed content on the way. Current-gen consoles will still be supported, with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions on the way. 12 more characters are also coming, to help out the Avengers. The latest world is then shown off, which happens to be Marvel Manhattan.
This slice of New York is four times larger than the biggest map in the first Disney Infinity, Metroville, and includes famous landmarks such as Avengers Tower.
Superhero locomotion and combat is next on the table, which the Johns say need to be awesome in order to capture the personalities of the various superheroes. Certain heroes can hover and fly, while others can super-jump. The Hulk appears to play by his own rules, and can even crawl up skyscrapers.
Heroes now also have custom skill trees, which can be further customised as they level up. Characters can now also level up even further, all the way to twenty. The toybox has been further upgraded with a variety of different enhancements. Structured play has been brought into game, while usability has been improved on as well in order to make Disney Infinity less complicated.
A new brush system is also shown off in the toybox mode, in order to make world construction simpler and more intuitive. Players can also create interior worlds now, which can be personalised to fit the attitudes of their new heroes. Iron Man’s home looks like his Malibu getaway, Captain America’s getaway has various World War 2 paraphernalia.
The Toybox will also be more structured now, allowing players to create new games in familiar genres sucha s Tower Defense and Dungeon Crawling. The Johns explain that these modes can be up to 3-4 hours in length on average. There’ll be 80 new power discs as well, which allow for titanic team-ups, new vehicles and alternate costumes.
From there, we’re teased with more to come, but one thing is clear here: Disney Infinity 2.0 looks like a massive improvement already. Disney clearly realised that they had created a solid groundwork, and they’re going to great lengths to add more to the experience.
It’ll be out in the US of A fall.
Last Updated: April 30, 2014