Earlier this week, Disney dropped Mjolnir on its video game division, opting to focus on licensing out properties for video game development going forward. Tragically, at the top of the cut list was developer Avalanche Software, the creative team behind Disney Infinity.
All software development on future Disney Infinity 3.0 expansions coming later this year and its followup, Disney Infinity 4.0 next year, alongside all toy line production was halted. And 300 jobs were lost. We’ve examined the how and why this happened from a business perspective yesterday and now we’re going to look at what could have been. As it turns out, there were cool plans for new Star Wars and Marvel movies alongside a new, much-needed gameplay mode, and even a new type of figure. Let’s take a look at what Disney Infinity 4.0 was shaping up to be before it all came to an end.
According to multiple sources likely within Avalanche, the following information about future Disney Infinity plans was revealed to Kotaku who broke the scoop this week on how the game ultimately came to an all-too-early end:
One of the biggest new additions in the works for Disney Infinity was a new line of larger, 12-inch figures that would retail for $45 each beginning this fall. These larger and more detailed figures would double-down on the most popular characters, would light up and add new in-game features. Given the quality of the standard 4-inch figures, collectors and fans will find this heartbreaking. Characters reportedly included:
- Buzz Lightyear
- Darth Vader
- Jack Skellington
2016 Playsets in Development
2016 was going to be the first year where another new numbered starter kit would not release to serve as a launch platform since all of Disney’s major brands had already been introduce. Instead, there would be four major playsets released throughout the year for the Star Wars heavy Disney Infinity 3.0. The first of these was Marvel Battlegrounds and new Marvel figures, letting players enjoy 4-player local arena play where heroes fight heroes – clearly timed for release with Captain America: Civil War. The other ones coming up (only one of which will actually hit retail):
- Finding Dory – The sequel to Finding Nemo is still getting its playset next month, timed with the film’s release, and additional 3.0 characters from Alice Through the Looking Glass are also being sold later this month for use in Toy Box mode.
- Moana – Walt Disney Animation’s upcoming Hawaiian-themed adventure movie featuring the voice of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was going to serve as the theme for the next Disney Infinity 3.0 playset. It was in development at studio Gobo.
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Finishing off the year and just in time for the holiday season of course is the next Star Wars movie tie-in, and this playset was in development at Ninja Theory
Disney Infinity 4.0
While 2016 wasn’t going to have a direct followup to Disney Infinity 3.0, a 4.0 release was in the works for 2017, although according to Kotaku’s sources it wasn’t going to keep the numbering scheme. I’m guessing that’s to avoid new potential customers feeling like they’ve fallen behind or to avoid devaluing the previously numbered releases and associated figures.
It’s not hard to guess what the content would be focused on given the movie releases coming in 2017 from Disney’s various studios, but here they are:
- Cars 3
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
- Star Wars: Episode VIII
- Thor: Ragnarok
It wasn’t specifically listed, but it’s a safe bet Spider-Man: Homecoming would have had content as well, and certainly some cool new figures to bolster the Marvel playsets. The Guardians 2 and Thor 3 possibilities really cut deep since Mantis would likely have gotten a figure and more Asgardians and cosmic Marvel characters would have been made as well. But there’s more…
Connected Story Mode
With Disney Infinity 4.0 (or whatever it would have been titled), another big new long overdue feature was in the works as well for its Toy Box mode. Avalanche was working on a new story mode that would finally let players use Star Wars, Marvel, and Disney characters together on screen without the nonsensical licensing restrictions which prevented Disney Infinity’s playsets from living up to their potential as toys-to-life games.
This was the single biggest gripe consistently raised by the community, when they couldn’t play their favorite Disney characters in other stories, or even within the Disney families (i.e. you couldn’t use the Venom figure in the Avengers playset despite it all being Marvel).
What this mode would have looked like and what the story would have been about, we may never know.
Disney Infinity 3.0: Marvel Battlegrounds is currently available. Three new Alice Through the Looking Glass characters debut later this month and the Finding Dory playset releases in June.