Disney Interactive Studios subsidiary Junction Point Studios is no more, and its founder, Warren Spector, no longer works for Disney. The two games Junction Point Studios developed, Epic Mickey and its sequel, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, are Disney’s properties, and Disney retains the rights to the IP of the franchise, in which Disney mascot Mickey Mouse is the star.
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.”
Junction Point, the development studio behind Wii exclusive Epic Mickey, is apparently set to close in seven days time. There’s no indication why the studio is closing down, but it’s thought that poor sales of Disney’s Epic Mickey: The Power of Two have something to do with it. Disney’s Epic Mickey: The Power of Two came out in November and only managed to sell 270,000 units in the United States.
Warren Spector, the developer behind the Epic Mickey franchise, has told Red Bull that he would love to see the Epic Mickey franchise continue. Spector also suggested ideas for some Oswald games, as he would love to see the character have his own shot at stardom. Here are some of Warren Spector’s ideas.
“Oh man, there are so many aspects of Disney’s history to draw from, we’ll never run out of material. There are all sorts of forgotten characters, concepts from films that were never made, rides that have been retired from the Parks or never built at all,” he says. “We could map games for the next 80 years about Disney’s last 80.”
“I should probably keep some secrets, but I’d love to do something with all the rejected versions of Tinkerbell [from Peter Pan] we saw in the archives – I think fans would get a huge kick out of that.”
“I’d love to see the Disney Epic Mickey series continue – there are plenty of stories still to tell about Wasteland and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mickey Mouse! I’d love to see some Oswald games, where he’s on his own. He deserves a shot at solo stardom. Then there are the ‘duck’ games – Donald, Scrooge, etc – that are just waiting to be made. And a bunch of us at Junction Point have thoughts about Goofy and the Gremlins and a hundred others.”
Toys R Us is currently selling Disney Epic Mickey: Power Of Illusion for the Nintendo 3DS for the reduced price of $19.99. The recently released game has received mixed reviews from the gaming press and currently has a score of 64 on Metacritic. User reviews for Disney Epic Mickey: Power Of Illusion stand at 5.5.
Peter Ong, creative director of DreamRift, has revealed that Epic Mickey: Power Of Illusion will feature twenty endings. Ong says that the 2D platformer features a number of character rescuing and quest missions which ultimately gives the player plenty of optional choices. The choices that you make will then influence the ending of the game. Ong went on to say that there are over 20 different endings to the game.
When we interviewed Warren Spector, he noted that different actions you make will affect the outcome of the game, but currently they look like they’re focused on alternative routes through areas rather than moral decisions. Is this the case?
“The character rescuing and quest system in the game involves a lot of optional choices the player can make. These choices influence the ending of the game. In fact, there are over 20 different endings to the game, and many more ways to influence how the Fortress will grow by the end.”
“Many of the choices that you are presented with through the Fortress quest system involve moral choices. Each of the quests that the characters present to Mickey is based on that character’s individual storyline and motivations.”
“Consequently, you will make choices such as whether to help out a villain character like Captain Hook, knowing that the character has previously plotted against you. It’s up to you to decide whether to help Captain Hook, based on how you feel about what that character has done in the past, and whether the player trusts the character’s current motives.”
There’s some new footage floating around online of the promising Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion for the Nintendo 3DS. The footage showcases the Little Mermaid stages that feature in the game. The game also includes stages for more recent Disney movies such as Tangled, and older classics such as Snow White. The 2D platformer will launch on November 18th.
A bunch of new information regarding Epic Mickey: The Power of Two has emerged online. We found out yesterday that the game won’t feature off-TV play, so if you’re playing co-op you’ll have to make do with split screen. The game also won’t support Wii Remote’s in single player. Here’s the new details that have found their way online.
- Rainbow Caverns is inspired by an extinct Disneyland attraction, Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland
- Mickey and Oswald must navigate through a cave to a giant rainbow waterfall
- This looks like a Mount Rushmore of Snow White’s dwarves
- You have to fix the waterfall’s piping system
- This allows access to the projector at the end of the level
- Some wells are filled with invisible ink that turns you invisible
- Use this ink in the caverns to sneak past security systems
- A well of indelible ink can be used to coat the characters in a hard golden coat
- This allows you to go through terrain you otherwise couldn’t
- It also prevents a few hits worth of damage from enemies
- Oswald has a remote control that can stun enemies and activate all sorts of contraptions
- Oswald can zap Mickey back to life if he is close enough
- Mickey can paint Oswald back into existence if he expires
- Oswald can also spin his ears as helicopter to help Mickey across large gaps
- Take photos during gameplay to share with friends
- There will be special photo-op spots marked by signs
- Another costume: Mickey can wear a Peter Pan costume
- Sketches allow Mickey to use special limited-use attacks and environmental effects
- Example: dropping an anvil on an enemy or conjuring a giant stop watch that temporarily slows down time
- These sketches can be selected via GamePad
- Every line of speech in the game is preformed
Disney Interactive has announced that the highly anticipated Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion will be the first third-party game to appear on the Western Nintendo 3DS eShop at launch. Nintendo announced a while back that developers now have the option to simultaneously launch their games on the Nintendo 3DS eShop and at retail upon the game’s release. Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is scheduled to launch November 18th.