Is the death of Disney Infinity signaling the end of an Era?
The announcement of Disney canceling Disney Infinity has many gamers disappointed. The last few years have been good for the so-called "Toys to Life" games. Skylanders, Lego Dimensions, Disney Infinity, Nintendo’s Amiibos have all filled this niche. The bigger question remains is this the slow decline of the popularity across the genre?
I first heard about Skylanders in 2011 and I wrote an article about this phenomenon for Goozerantion in 2011; the article is available via Waybackmachine. I praised Activision’s innovation. This was a great marketing strategy, having exclusive characters to stores and combining games and action figures. At that time I couldn't help to wonder would this be a fad like Guitar Hero and Rock Band? Would the market become over saturated and gamers would just lose interest?
Apparently I was wrong, the Toys to Life genre has paid off across the board for Activision, Warner Bros, Disney and Nintendo. If anything, I thought Skylanders would have been the first to go. I was wrong. Disney Infinity, despite it's success, was the first to call it quits. It was reported that Disney lost a lot of money on this, somewhere close to $147 million and they have closed Avalanche studios.
So what went wrong for Disney? Was it the fading interest in the genre? Not really, everything else seems to be selling well and Disney has a lot of properties to use, including Marvel and Star Wars. In theory, I think there just wasn't enough new content in Disney Infinity 3.0 which hurt sales for the company to justify continuing the series.
So what's next for Toys to Life? Amiibos are not going away anytime soon, Nintendo is making a ton of money. Lego Dimensions seems to be selling well too. Who knows what the future holds? If you are one of those gamers who is is still interested in Disney Infinity, wait a little while as the price is sure to come down on the characters and playsets.