Today, John Lassiter, Chief Creative Officer of Disney and Pixar, and John Blackburn, Avalanche Software Studio VP, revealed the multi-platform, immersive world of Disney Infinity.
Disney Infinity will be a multi-property, multi-platform exploration game which will let you can combine various Disney characters and worlds to use your imagination to the fullest. It will be a combination of real world toys and video games, similar to Skylanders, but taken to the extreme. For example, in Disney Infinity you can answer the question: who would win a race between Lightning McQueen from Cars and Dash from The Incredibles?
This is both good and bad news for iOS users. While the mobile part of Disney Infinity will be initially limited to so-called support apps, it will evolve over 2013 to a full Disney Infinity platform, though we are still trying to get details on that.
The game for consoles will launch with a variety of play figures and play sets. The game will unlock various worlds and characters based on what set and individual figures you buy. And each playset will allow you to play in the world of the playset, like Monsters, Inc., or Pirates of the Caribbean , or The Incredibles.
In the various playlets, you play in the world of that playset with only the characters present from that world. But with each playset purchased, you are given the option to to also take the included characters into a Toy Box mode, in which you can mix characters and abilities from different properties.
You can also build out your world with purchasable toys, tools, and vehicles, though we're not sure if it will be equivalent to in-app purchases, or if it will require characters to level up to purchase. You can also build out your worlds with new buildings, enhancements, and more. Once purchased, you can take the items you have into the Toy Box mode as well.
Obviously, it's the Toy Box mode where Disney Infinity will really shine. The whole world is editable, playable, and infinitely customizable. It's the digital equivalent of opening up a toy chest filled with all of the Disney characters and using your imagination to build anything you want, playing out any story you want. You can team up with other characters and go on adventures, build things, all the while being creative. It could be fantastic. Everything in the toy box world can be changed. You can build new islands, buildings, or whole environments if you wish.
The online aspect is currently a little conservative. Though to be fair, that is to be expected with a kid-centric game like this. Disney needs to be cautious to protect the kids. There's no giant open MMO, as I had hoped for. What you can do is to share your created worlds online. Disney will then moderate those and push them out via an online list of downloadable worlds. Once you download a world you are free to interact and further edit it at will.
The game will also offer an up to four-player multiplayer mode, a drop-in/out mode where one person hosts the world and the other three players can interact with that world and the other players.
To see what the game looks like, along with the pads and figures, take a look at the video below.
Disney Infinity will launch in June, 2013 for consoles and online, with mobile being rolled out in phases over 2013. No details have yet been given for mobile. One thing we know is that Disney considers this a key, if not the key to their future.