Disney Games Departing from Greatness?

Disney Infinity originally had my attention because, well, it’s a departure from Disney’s most recent slew of games. Kingdom Hearts brought an amazing game to consoles and started a whole series, while Epic Mickey was fun to play, innovative, and showed everyone that the Wii still had some life left in it. Both of these games delivered something new to gaming. However, Disney Infinity seems to just be a knock-off of Skylanders and a quick way for Disney to make money. There’s nothing innovative about it. This is further enforced by the fact that the game will have on-disk DLC and have a new version published every single year.

This isn’t the first time that Disney Interactive is focusing on a money-printing game—its past movie games were lackluster, to say the least, and didn’t exactly live up to expectations, but were sure to end up as stocking stuffers in some unlucky kid’s stocking. However, for Disney to focus on this style of game after producing several other games of a high caliber shows that they prefer these money-printing games over groundbreaking games which actually offer something new. Again, the audience between their past games and Infinity is different, but it’s still unexpected and frankly disappointing.

It’s possible that this move was made because Epic Mickey 2 was not as successful as its predecessor. Seeing a series that didn’t go as well as anticipated (even if it did have a bit of success, compared to other games), the company may have decided to keep its games in-house and return to the age-old money-churning formula. However, this is a poor move for them on more grounds than just ripping off another game in an attempt to grab money fast.

This game will apparently be able to spoil Disney games for the following year. The game will come included with on-disk DLC (which, as we all know from the Mass Effect 3 fiasco, is a terrible decision). This DLC will contain the year’s releases, including never-before-seen characters and franchises that Disney expects to churn out. They don’t expect hackers to delve into the game because that would ruin the ‘magic’ of Disney, but let’s be honest here, it’s going to be spoiled a few hours after the game is released. Unless this is another marketing ploy of theirs, they’re going to be very unhappy when this hidden content is inevitably spoiled.

That’s even excluding the fact that the on-disk DLC might not be free. It wouldn’t be unreasonable for Disney to charge for these extra characters after the movies or media are finally released. After all, with kids as their main audience, very few of them will be the wiser and realize that they already own the content on the disk. We still have a lot to see from Disney Infinity—it might not end up being the Skylanders rip-off it appears to be now. They might throw in something unique, they might make the DLC free, and they might make a game that gamers of all types can enjoy. Unfortunately, this is a very unlikely case.