Inside sources at Disney have expressed dismay at the cancellation of the Disney Infinity series.
Kotaku reports that assorted plans were in the pipeline for the next game in the series, chief of which was a new range of 12-inch figures retailing at $45 a pop. These would have included Hulk, Hulkbuster Ironman, Darth Vader, Buzz Lightyear and Elsa.
UK studio Ninja Theory was also reportedly working on a Star Wars: Rogue One expansion, while planned content for other titles included Star Wars VIII, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Cars 3, Thor: Ragnarok and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Also in the works was a new Toy Box mode that would have allowed players to mix up the game universes in any manner they choose.
It's weird to be the number one in a genre but still have your sales be disappointing,” a source said, with another adding: Disney Infinity was a big seller and earned a lot of revenue for Disney Interactive. I don't know of another high selling triple-A game that has been killed like this.”
As to the series' cancellation, one source blamed an excess stock of toys – a problem that was worsened by licensing deals that required figures of less popular characters to be released as part of licensed ranges.
It is claimed that 2m units of Hulk were produced, for instance, while sales only ever hit 1m. Meanwhile, characters such as Guardian of The Galaxy's Yondu were a commercial flop. Said a source: They couldn't give them away.”
Some even claim that Disney had hoped to tackle this problem via a licensing deal with Hasbro, that would have seen the toy manufacturer bring some of its brands, including Transformers, to the series.
Another perhaps more surprising problem came in the form of competition. Not from Skylanders and LEGO Dimensions, however – it was EA's Star Wars: Battlefront that caused real headaches.
Our methodology was we're [Disney Infinity] going to hit this 7-12 range and Battlefront is going to the teen and up range,” a source said. But it turns out even the younger kids wanted to play Battlefront still.”