After three games, more than a dozen play sets and about 100 different figures, Disney Infinity is coming to an abrupt end. Disney announced the shuttering of the toys-to-life video game franchise on an earnings call this afternoon, where it also revealed it would exit the console publishing business again. The news came as a bit of a surprise, with Disney citing the lack of growth in the toys-to-life arena coupled with increases in development for the Infinity brand as the root causes.
Disney still plans on releasing the final two previously announced add-ons for Alice: Through the Looking Glass and Finding Dory, but once the Pixar-based play set and figures arrive in June, there will be no more Infinity to look forward to.
Four years ago, Marvel Avengers Alliance hit Facebook gaming with all the force of the Incredible Hulk. Then it just kept going. Since launching in 2012, Avengers Alliance has recruited more then 70 million would-be heroes (and villains) to its cause. That's a lot of ISO-8 being thrown around all willy-nilly. In that time, the game has been telling its own story in its own corner of the Marvel Universe, while also expanding into comic book storylines like Fear Itself and films like Avengers: Age of Ultron.
This week, Marvel Avengers Alliance 2 comes out of beta testing to bring a whole new era of Avengers action to mobile devices. While the original game did come to mobile, it wasn't truly its own unique game. Developed exclusively for phones and tablets this time around, Marvel Avengers Alliance 2 features a whole host of changes courtesy of Disney Interactive. Ahead of its official release, ComicsAlliance spoke with creative director Scott Rudi and senior producer Justin Woods about what to expect from Marvel Avengers Alliance 2, what sets it apart from its predecessor, and going "full Thanos."
More Marvel goodness is coming to Disney Infinity this year, as the game will bring more of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's faces to life in video game form. While Disney Infinity's third installment has largely focused on various Star Wars stories, there was a smattering of Marvel characters released to bulk up the comic roster. Later this month, a new Captain America: Civil War inspired Captain America figure will release alongside Marvel Battlegrounds, a four-player co-op Play Set, where you and some friends can duke it out with the biggest and baddest in Marvel's corner of the Disney Infinity Universe.
Captain America won't be alone in getting a new figure however, as Disney revealed during its Disney Infinity Next stream a handful of hard traveled heroes that would make the leap to the successful video game franchise. Black Panther, Ant-Man and Vision will get their own spanking new figures, along with a new Power Disc pack that boasts new vehicles and power-ups for Disney Infinity. There's also a standalone Symbiote Spider-Man figure coming to help round out the Civil War connections, though he was already released as part of the PS Vita starter pack in 2014.
There's been a lot of talk about Star Wars this year, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it's not going to get any better between now and Dec. 18. Actually, I don't think it's bad news at all, but that's because I'm clinging to the hype train with all my strength, hoping just to make it through the next few weeks without falling off. One of my coping mechanisms for not having The Force Awakens beamed directly into my brain has been playing Disney Infinity's Star Wars content with my wife. Soon, we'll have even more Drunk History versions of Star Wars' narratives when Disney Infinity's The Force Awakens play set arrives.
The existing Star Wars content for Disney Infinity has been decent, giving me the ability to play as my favorite characters from the prequel and original trilogies, as well as Rebels, but the stories have been seriously wacky. Maybe not the Clone Wars/Rebels era stuff, but the Rise Against the Empire play set has a narrative that's eerily reminiscent of a child who's only seen Star Wars once trying to explain the whole story while her parents capture the moment on a cell phone. It's silly fun, and makes the experience feel fresh, even if you are laughing the whole time at the inaccuracies from the original story. I'm getting that same vibe about The Force Awakens from this trailer.
Though it was announced as part of the Disney Infinity plans quite a while back, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens figures and Play Set hadn't been shown or teased at all beyond its mere existence. Today, Disney Interactive finally unveiled the first four figures planned, though they shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's been paying attention to the Force Awakens release plans since Force Friday.
Heroes Rey and Finn will be included with the Play Set itself when it arrives on Dec. 18, with Kylo Ren and Poe Dameron being offered as separate figures on the same date. Little is known about what we'll be doing in the Play Set itself (shocking, I know), but it will be compatible with all the other Star Wars figures that have been released to this point. So yes, you will be able to team Darth Vader with the man rumored to be his biggest fan, and give Rey a chance to hang with Han and Chewie before they had so much gray in their hair.
For those of you wondering just how the previously announced Ultron and Hulkbuster Iron Man figures would play into the recent release of Disney Infinity 3.0, wonder no more. This upcoming March, Disney Infinity 3.0 will see a new add-on arrive in the form of Marvel Battlegrounds. The play set, which will be offered just like the Toy Box Takeover and Toy Box Speedway, will introduce a new four-player, Marvel-themed brawler into the fray. While it won't follow a similar path as Disney Infinity 2.0's Avengers story, Marvel Battlegrounds will indeed have a narrative, though that's not the most important news.
Joining Hulkbuster and Ultron will be an all-new Captain America The First Avenger figure. Featuring an unmasked Cap in a costume reminiscent of his Avengers: Age of Ultron costume (why call it the First Avenger then?), the figure will come in new pose, have new powers and abilities, and also look handsome as hell. This is as close as we're ever going to get to a Pixar-styled Chris Evans, so soak it in, everyone. He's just as dreamy and Dorito-y as ever, even in digitized form.
For some, the only good part of the Star Wars prequel trilogy was the introduction of Darth Maul. A truly fearsome looking Sith, Maul had a sick dual lightsaber and a scowl made all the more imposing by his skin pigmentation. Despite only appearing in The Phantom Menace, the character achieved tremendous popularity, in part due to how under-utilized he was in the only film he ever appeared in. While not quite attaining Boba Fett levels of fandom, Darth Maul was the character from the prequel everyone wanted to be. Like Boba Fett, Maul, too, was resurrected posthumously in order to better serve the fandom in the expanded universe.
If you'd been watching The Clone Wars animated series, you'd know that Darth Maul was brought back during this trying time during the prequel timeline. Along with a branded bunch of Mandalorian warriors and his brother, Savage Opress, Maul returned late in the series to wreak more havoc on the Jedi forces and the Clone Army they commanded. Now the most feared foe returns once more in Disney Infinity 3.0's base game, Twilight of the Republic.
It's a new year, and that means it's also time for a new iteration of the Disney Infinity series. Over the past two years, Disney Interactive has been fine-tuning its NFC figure gaming franchise, improving on the previous version in small but welcome ways. There have been some larger changes to the overall as well, but none more visible than the addition of new characters and figures to the ever-expanding roster of Disney properties. With Disney Infinity 3.0, not only are we going to be getting a load of new toys and Play Sets based on the beloved Star Wars license, we're also getting new Toy Box modes that offer more ways to play with the characters you've already collected.
After a couple years of focusing on non-comics work -- novels and screenplays -- Dan Abnett is returning to write some of the characters that rocketed him and writing partner Andy Lanning into the comics stratosphere a few years ago, the Guardians of the Galaxy, with the new Guardians 3000 series, which comes out in October.
Before that, though, Abnett has another Guardians-themed project coming out. He co-wrote the new mobile game from Disney Interactive, titled Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon, and it's more than just a movie tie-in. He told ArcadeSushi, "What we didn't want to do was create a game that tied so tightly to the movie that they strangled each other. The movie has its own story and the game has its own story."
Disney Interactive's recent acquisition Playdom is set to roll out a sequel to its successful turn-based Marvel: Avengers Alliance Facebook/mobile game that sticks to some of its core concepts while changing up gameplay. Titled Marvel: Avengers Alliance Tactics, the new game sees players take up the role of a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent yet again to command various Avengers and other Marvel superheroes as they oppose threats from an overlapping alternate dimension. Sounds like a... crisis.
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