By Joseph Leray
Speaking to Videogamer, “Disney Infinity” executive producer John Vignocchi explained that his team’s new game could alleviate the need to make fully-fledged games for each of Disney’s new series. “Our idea was, ‘What if we created a platform that all the content could live in?’” he said.
“In the past, we used to do a game based on ‘Tangled,” and a game based on ‘Tron,” and a game based on ‘Epic Mickey,” he continued. “And every single time, whether it was an internal developer or external developer, we were starting from scratch.”
But “Disney Infinity” comes with Play Sets, downloadable expansion packs that feature characters and themed environments for a specific movie or character. The “Toy Story” Play Set, for example, would be a set of quests and missions based around Woody and Buzz Lightyear. These sets could take some of the pressure of developers when trying to create movie tie-ins.
Though “Disney Infinity” won’t be released until June, Vignocchi already sees the development benefits of Play Sets over traditional licensing: “We can leverage all of the existing work that we’ve done,” he says, using Mr. Incredible and Iron Man as examples.
“There may be another character similar to Mr. Incredible in terms of having super strength,” he explains. “We could actually leverage some of the mechanics we’ve already built for a character like Mr. Incredible to help add additional characters in [like Iron Man.]”
At some point, development of “Disney Infinity” titles becomes a numbers game. Keeping new tie-ins limited to “Infinity” Play Sets would keep development costs and turnaround times low, but profits could be curtailed by the game’s user base and pricing structure.
Still, Vignocchi leaves the door open for more traditionally development Disney tie-in games, provided there’s interest: “That doesn’t mean that there’s not … going to be opportunities where we give something to a different publisher to explore a larger game that’s more of a 30-hour experience versus what we’re delivering inside of Infinity.”