Jan 22, 2013

Disney Infinity - Jumping Into The Skylander Arena

If you live in the US, you've probably seen Skylanders in some form or the other. The idea was pure genius, mixing the concept of Pokemon with a tangible collectible aspect. The idea of getting both a toy and videogame character in the same package just seemed diabolically ingenious. And for close to two years the Skylander brand has grown, garnering the unlikely title of top selling console and handheld videogame worlwide, with sales of over 30 million toys in 2012 and sales of over half a billion dollars, from the mouth of Activision's Bobby Kotick himself.

Whereas most people were busy enjoying AAA franchises like the latest installments of Call Of Duty or Assassin's Creed, Skylander's made the smart move of aggressively capitalizing on a younger niche widely untapped by developers. This feat went widely unnoticed, until Disney's recent announcement of a near identical concept just a few days ago: Disney's Infinity.

By harnessing the power of decades of established IP's from both television and movies, Disney is looking to get a piece of the cross-market (Toy/Videogame) pie with a seemingly fool proof plan, using the success of Skylanders as a springboard. Launching this June, the cross platform game will come with a $75 price tag, add ons will run $35, and character toys will run $13 each. The figures will come with their own worlds catered to the franchises they're from, and the game will also incorporate a Minecraft-esque build your own world system called 'Toybox.'

It will be interesting to see what effect Disney's arrival to the 'toy to life' arena will have on the game industry as a whole. On a historical basis, where success thrives, many others tend to follow suit. I personally wouldn't mind seeing a version of this concept more catered to adults, although I'm sure Infinity will draw in an older fanbase due to the intoxicating effects of Pixar/Disney fandom.

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