Like the shooting of JFK or when Elvis ate his last fried banana and peanut butter sandwich, we all remember where we were when our favourite software franchise gets shutdown.
Not that long ago it was the end of Lionhead and the Fable franchise that reminded us of our own impending mortality.
Last week, parents around the globe were consoling their children in a tear and snot-stained hurricane caused by the news that Disney Infinity was to end, and the developer Avalanche Software was expected to close as a result of this.
Or perhaps they weren’t because their kids were off busy playing Minecraft.
The ripples caused by the culling of Infinity is sure to play out and it gives interesting food-for-thought.
The toys-to-life side of the gaming industry is relatively young and began with the Skylanders franchise back in 2011. Now the question needs to be asked: if Disney cannot sustain a franchise like this with its gargantuan back catalogue of intellectual property spanning Marvel, Star Wars, Disney and beyond, what future is there for other players in that game?
The toys themselves are appealing but they aren’t really toys, are they? They are figurines. Little plastic, crap statuettes that inspire nothing from a child’s imagination.
We had the Disney Infinity 2.0 set in the house and while the kids were initially interested in the game, the single player levels were simplistic and dull and the sandbox area, which should have been the major selling point, did nothing to inspire my kids to play. It seemed to lack the immediacy of Minecraft and the immersiveness that franchise inspires.
So on a software level, the game felt a little undercooked and half-finished. Not good for a triple-A franchise.
Then there’s the toys themselves. Simply put: they are not toys. They lack articulation or any aspect of playability compared to my childrens other “figurines” of choice.
They are too well made, too well painted, almost trophy like in their aspect, making them a little too nice to be played with, if you get my drift.
This criticism can also be levelled at other competitors, especially the Amibo range put out by Nintendo.
Never has so much plastic crap been sold so for so much to so many in such a short time. Some might say that Nintendo has cynically massaged the market to make certain figures in the Amibo range “rare” and therefore more “expensive” and “collectable”.
But those of you who are into collecting this kind of stuff - take a note of what has happened with Disney Infinity, a property that should have been successful.
I mean Star Wars, Marvel…Mickey Bleeding Mouse!!! I would advise you to offload those Amibos while you still can because the toys-to-life market has just seen the bubble burst.
And in enough time we’ll see a flood of plastic figurines finding there way onto eBay, into the game stores and Cash Convertors and none of them being worth the plastic they are made of (unless you keep them mint in their box and place them back in the attic for twenty years, defeating their primary purpose).
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