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Disney spent over $100m on Infinity development - report

Failure of new IP could be disastrous for Disney Interactive

Disney Infinity cost in excess of $100 million to make, and could represent the last chance for the company's struggling interactive division.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the cost of developing the game and producing the toys was well above $100 million - that excludes marketing costs, which are likely to be high. According to a source who recently left Disney's interactive unit, Infinity is a "Hail Mary [play] with a tremendous amount of pressure to be a hit."

It has also become the prime focus of Disney Interactive, which froze development on an Iron Man game and passed up the chance to work on Star Wars titles following the acquisition of LucasArts.

Infinity, which is similar to Activision's Skylanders, goes on sale in the U.S. this weekend, and will hit Europe on Tuesday next week. If it doesn't achieve a certain level of success, Disney would allegedly consider moving to a licensing model for future game development, with only online and mobile content produced in-house.

In a meeting with analysts in February, Disney CEO Robert Iger said, "If 'Infinity' does well, it bodes very well for the bottom line of this unit... If it doesn't do well, the opposite will be the case."

Despite its success in film, television, theme parks and various other areas, The Walt Disney Company has struggled to make an impact with video games. High-profile games like Epic Mickey failed to justify their production costs, while the expensive acquisitions of Club Penguin and Playdom - a combined outlay of more than $900m - have yielded disappointing returns.

In the last quarter, Disney Interactive reported an operating loss of $58 million.

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Latest comments (2)

Caleb Hale Journalist 3 years ago
I'll know by Sunday whether Disney has a winner on their hands. We'll be picking up our starter pack for "Disney Infinity," which will surely be followed soon by various other characters and play sets. Since my 8-year-old likes Disney and loves Minecraft, the Toy Box mode is right up his alley.

As for what it will do to Skylanders in my house? Not much, I'd imagine. Kids don't get too wrapped up in brand camps the way adults do, so by Christmas we'll be switching back and forth between "Skylanders: Swap Force" and "Disney Infinity" on the TV set.
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Eric Leisy VR Production Designer, Nike3 years ago
I hadn't even heard of this, by your comment Caleb- I don't think I'm the audience for this. The business strategy behind this doesn't seem sound to me. They were already suffering losses, and then they decided to take on this hugely expensive endeavor which could tank the division if its not a success? I hadn't really even heard about this game prior to these articles. I hope they know what they are doing, I'm tired of seeing game companies keel over.
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