Disney has announced that Disney Interactive and their self-published titles are no more. The company has announced that they have shuttered the doors and let go of 300 personnel.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, Disney will incur a $147 million charge in light of shutting down the Disney Infinity studio. They made the decision because in the long term they just didn’t see the toys-to-life market as a viable, profitable market.
In fact, analysts speculate that the toys-to-life market could potentially shrink in 2016, so instead of taking a risk on it, Disney just killed it all off. It seems like a brash move, especially considering that during the holiday season of 2015 Disney managed to outsell Activision in the toys-to-life market with the Star Wars line of toys for Disney Infinity.
There will be two more playsets released for Disney Infinity, including Alice Through the Looking Glass and Finding Dory. Despite dropping in profits by 2%, the games division at Disney still made $1.2 billion in revenue. As mentioned in the earnings report, the drop was due in some part to Disney Infinity and the difference in foreign currency…
“Lower operating income was primarily due to the impact of foreign currency translation due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against major currencies, lower operating margins and comparable store sales at our retail business and lower results for Infinity.
“These decreases were partially offset by higher licensing revenues.“
The licensing revenues was in large part due to Star Wars.
According to chairman of consumer products and interactive media, Jimmy Pitaro, Disney will now just focus on licensing out their brands as opposed to building a software portfolio through publishing.
They already have deals with Electronic Arts and other publishers when it comes to properties like Star Wars, Touchstone and Marvel. It seems risky just relying on brand licensing, but then again maybe some studio will step up to the plate and come up with something real special with one of Disney’s properties.
(Main image courtesy of Just Girlpower)