The NPD Group has announced that Epic Mickey: The Power of Two sold 529,000 copies during November and December in the United States. Nintendo 3DS exclusive Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion sales combined with Epic Mickey: The Power of Two reached 695,000 units sold in North America over the same period. We learned today that the studio behind the games, Junction Point, has closed down.
Disney has confirmed that Junction Point Studios is defunct as of today, January 29th, 2013. The studio was established in 2005 by Warren Spector, and it was acquired by Disney Interactive Studios in 2007. In its lifetime, the studio developed two video games – Wii-exclusvie Epic Mickey and its sequel, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, which was released on multiple platforms. We wish everyone who’s affected by the closure the best of luck.
“It was with much sadness that we informed our teams today of changes to our Games organization, which include the closure of Junction Point Studios. These changes are part of our ongoing effort to address the fast-evolving gaming platforms and marketplace and to align resources against our key priorities. We’re extremely grateful to Warren Spector and the Junction Point team for their creative contributions to Disney with Disney Epic Mickey and Disney Epic Mickey 2.”
Bob Iger, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, has announced that the company will take a closer look at violence in their video games following the Newtown school shooting. Iger says that the team at Disney will take a good look at everything they’ve got that could be considered near the line or over the line with regards to violence. He conceded that Disney titles very, very, rarely feature violence, but he still wants to make sure that they’re asking themselves the right questions in terms of that standard.
“[We will} take stock in everything we’ve got that can be considered near the line or over the line”
“Fortunately at Disney there’s very little [violent content], but I still want to make sure we’re asking ourselves the right questions in terms of that standard, and also [ensure] we’re willing to be a part of a dialogue in today’s world that I think is pretty necessary in terms of what our role is and what our role should be.”
Avalanche Studios chief creative officer John Blackburn has told online gaming publication Destructiod that the Nintendo 3DS version of Disney Infinity will be a very different experience compared to its console counterparts. Blackburn cites hardware limitations for this, but he promises a handheld game littered with a variety of interesting mini games.
“The 3DS is a very different experience. They memory can’t handle all that stuff, so technologically we couldn’t do the same thing there. It’s more of a game you expect on a 3DS: You build teams with characters and they each have a mini-game that comes along with them. You can go and build out the different play fields that you’ll go through with your team, so there is a strategy component when you play with someone else. The mobile versions are actually more attuned to touch controls. We aren’t ready to share that yet, but it will be tied to the economy and the experience with all the characters you have. We’ll leave that it at that.”
Activision’s vice president of consumer marketing, John Coyne, welcomed Disney Infinity to the market and made it clear that his company is the leader of the ‘toys to life’ category, via an issued statement to GameSpot. In under two years, the two games in the Skylanders franchise, which were published by Activision, have generated over $500 million in U.S. sales. Disney Infinity, set for release in June, will integrate collectible physical toys from Disney and Pixar worlds.
“We are thrilled by the incredible success that the Skylanders franchise has had in such a short period of time. We are also flattered that one of the leading family entertainment companies is joining our ‘toys to life’ category.”
“We continue to focus on delivering innovative and immersive entertainment experiences to kids around the world and are pouring more creativity into our games. As a result, we are well positioned to continue leading the category.”
-Activision vice president of consumer marketing John Coyne
The LA Times is reporting the Warren Spector’s critically disappointing Epic Mickey 2 only managed to sell 270,000 units in the United States from its launch till the end of the year. The original Epic Mickey for Wii fared much better by selling 1.3 million copies. It’s not known whether Disney will work with Junction Point anymore. Disney unveiled today that it’s currently working on Disney Infinity with Avalanche Studios.
Some of Disney’s most iconic characters, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy, are absent from the Disney Infinity reveal trailer; however, Mickey and the gang may, one day, be playable in the upcoming sandbox video game. Also, because The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm, characters from The Avengers and Star Wars may be featured in Disney Infinity. Disney Infinity will launch in June for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
Disney Interactive have finally unveiled Disney Infinity which is due for release this summer. The game is best described as Skylanders meets LittleBigPlanet combined with Minecraft and is in development by Avalanche Software. Disney Infinity will integrate collectible physical toys into a sandbox game that can include the best of Disney and Pixar titles. The game is due for release sometime in June for all platforms.
On February 12th, in North America, the high definition digital copy – in both 2D and 3D – will be released. However, physical releases of the film will not hit stores until March 5th.
Disney Infinity, which is best described as Disney’s take on Skylanders, will be unveiled by the company during a press event in Hollywood featuring the chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. Disney Infinity sounds like a rather ambitious project for the company which sees Disney and Pixar collectible toys with embedded NFC/RFID chips interact with console games. We will certainly hear more about the game come January 15th.