Infinity didn’t quite go beyond, and crashed quite horribly into a mess of broken dreams and heartbroken fans.
Disney’s Infinity was a bold addition to the toys-to-life genre. I thoroughly enjoyed the game since 1.0 but sadly my kids only started getting interested in it. They still have difficulty in understanding that Mickey does not work on Tatooine, but we play together nonetheless after pointing out only certain figures work in certain playsets.This was the largest flaw in the game in my opinion. Disney has easily the best and most well made figures in this the genre, but the limited cross play ability of the figurines made the game far more complex and a larger nuisance for the intended “everyone” audience. Infinity was JUST starting to fix this flaw with the Toy Box Takedown, Speedway, and the rumoured 4.0 playsets. Which is a damned shame.
I am still reeling from the cancelled series. It was always my intention to get the kids into it when they could understand the game mechanics. My oldest can finally grasp this concept. To an extent.
So what happened?
How did the highest grossing toys-to-life game fail?
Where did Disney go wrong?
There are a lot of articles about the intricacies of how Infinity failed, and I am only going to quickly cover them and focus more on what I feel is the true downfall of Infinity.
Availability Figures. 1.0 was a mess to find figurines at first. They were under produced for so long that many 1.0 figures are still in high demand. So how did they deal with this? They over produced 2.0 figures to the point where only half of some figures have been sold, even at this point.
The problem was that the forecasts were way off, and using Hulk as an example, 2 million figures were produced with only 1 million being sold. That led to a drop in revenue reported in Disney’s financials.
Figures Produced. There was also a lack of foresight in the demand of figures produced in each playset. The affiliates wanted certain characters produced. Characters that ended up being very poorly received by the fan base and by collectors.
For example these three figures in the Guardians of the Galaxy playset. Ronin and Yondu aren’t exactly popular characters even within the Marvel franchise, so how were they expected to sell well in Infinity? It took me forever to realize that was Green Goblin also.
I don’t think the people behind the game understood the fanbases of the individual franchises, and tried to cram too many random Marvel and random Star Wars characters to the point that they are no longer profitable.
She might not be popular, but I LOVE Sabine.
Star Wars Battlefront and EA. Let’s be blunt, Star Wars also hurt the series.
There are so many figurines in 3.0 that are Star Wars related, that 3.0 is basically a Star Wars game. So how did Star Wars hurt Infinity? EA released Battlefront around the same time that 3.0 was released. Disney had expected Battlefront to be a more mature audience, with the lower age bracket being drawn to Infinity. This was not the case. Battlefront ended up being popular across all age ranges, which affected the sales of Infinity quite drastically.
It’s all EA’s fault. (not really)
The Real (IMO) Problem Disney Had.
The biggest problem Infinity faced in the long run, is an issue Disney and most companies have, they didn’t know their fans. Disney has had this issue for a while, even in the MCU there has always been problems with the big wigs trying to shoehorn content in or remove content that fans would have enjoyed more than what ended up in the final product. Whedon had this (quite vocal) problem with Disney. They don’t understand the content and it became a nuisance trying to get Avengers filmed. As much as Marvel has run of the franchise, Disney still forced them to make changes to the films to make them “more palatable” for a worldwide audience. Sacrificing the credibility of certain characters *cough* Mandarin *cough* The Ancient One, and even altering storylines within the films. Disney has shied away from the days of Walt Disney, when he would take risks in order to produce something he wanted. Disney doesn’t like risks anymore.
Honestly Geek Culture is a big risk to begin with. You never know how fans are going to react to changes from the original content. Playing 3.0 as Leia on Tatooine seems weird, but in the end the game isn’t meant to be canon, but a fun jaunt with the kids. As much as Infinity is marketed to kids, they are not the only ones that play it. I would hazard a guess that most players are much older than Disney assumes.
Does this mean that Infinity is dead dead? Or just kind of dead?
There is a possibility that since Disney is no longer producing the game in-house, that they might license it out like they did with EA and Battlefront. Here is hoping that they pass it off to someone else who can keep the series going and understands the respective fanbases involved. That is what the series needs, a lead that understands not only this type of game, but also each of the respective titles involved.
I hope this so much.
I want tot see a Moana set if someone else picks it up. *wink wink*