Nearly 300 staff laid off at creator of toy-to-life series, with Disney Interactive to no longer self-publish games

Avalanche Software closed as Disney kills Infinity franchise

Disney Infinity developer Avalanche Software has been closed, following the news that Disney is leaving the games publishing business.

The film company announced in its latest earnings report that it will no longer self-publish games, moving exclusively to a licensing model where other publishers will be able to build using its IP – such as EA with Star Wars Battlefront. The move means swallowing a $147 million charge relating to the discontinuation of the console games business.

It also means the end of Disney Infinity, with the company admitting that the toys-to-life series had delivered “lower results” than expected.

Revenue generated by Disney’s consumer products and interactive media arm fell by two per cent during the last quarter to rest at $1.2 billion, with operating income similarly dropping eight per cent to $357 million.

Two final packs will release for Disney Infinity 3.0 later this year, based on upcoming movies Alice Through the Looking Glass and Finding Dory.

The closure of Infinity creator Avalanche has resulted in nearly 300 staff at the studio being laid off. UK developers Ninja Theory and Sumo Digital contributed to the core game and some of its add-on sets.

Disney previously shuttered in-house studios Propaganda Games, Black Rock and Junction Point in 2011, with the firm placing its bets on the success of Infinity, even in the face of strong competition from Skylanders and LEGO Dimensions.

“As we turn to the next chapter in our story, I want to thank everyone who helped bring Disney Infinity to life, particularly Disney’s Glendale-based production and publishing teams, our external development partners, and of course the incredible Avalanche team for their tireless dedication to this project,” Disney Infinity GM and SVP John Blackburn wrote in a blog post.

“Our goal for Disney Infinity was to bring the best of Disney storytelling to life in homes around the world, and with your support we accomplished that. We hope you had as much fun playing the game as we had making it."

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