Recently it was made public that Disney was discontinuing not only their Disney Infinity Toys but had also planned to shut down Avalanche Software, which is the company that developed and produced the Disney Infinity games. It’s worth mentioning that this isn’t the first time that Disney pulled this mess as fans of Pure and Split Second remember what happened when Disney put the ax to Black Rock Studio, back during 2011 Prior to even Black Rock Studio, Disney had acquired a handful of gaming studios, only to close them down, so Avalanche Software is just another casualty of their inability. However during all of this, they also mentioned that Disney was also planning on pulling out of the gaming business and would be moving to license all of its IPs to other companies. So while them killing off Disney Infinity was a huge blow to thousands of gaming fans, that last bit, at least to me is more so important.
“After a thorough evaluation, we have modified our approach to console gaming and will transition exclusively to a licensing model. This shift in strategy means we will cease production of Disney Infinity, where the lack of growth in the toys-to-life market, coupled with high development costs, has created a challenging business model. This means that we will be shutting down Avalanche, our internal studio that developed the game. This was a difficult decision that we did not take lightly given the quality of Disney Infinity and its many passionate fans.”
But why you ask? Before Disney “acquired” Marvel, Marvel had licensed its IPs with multiple gaming companies; Activision, Capcom, Sega and a few others. That all ended when Disney had taken ownership of Marvel and had started removing those licenses from companies. This is why Capcom had given up on the Marvel vs Capcom series and why many Marvel-based games were removed from Steam, PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live respectfully. Shortly after that, Disney announced that they would be creating their own Marvel fighting title which ended up bring an iOS and Android device game, Marvel Content of Champions.
And, well.. it wasn’t very good. Nor was the reception that the game received when Disney had pulled the Marvel license from Capcom and basically stopped any ongoing plans for Marvel vs Capcom 3, as well as scrapped any possible sequel plans. Let’s just say the fight game community wasn’t very happy about this. Seriously, who wanted to play a fighting game that only featured swiping gestures on a flat surface? Though it was pretty funny watching the reaction to the game.
But now that Disney is pulling out of the gaming business, what does this mean for gamers and game developers? Well, a lot actually. Since Disney had stated that they would now be licensing their IPs, this means that anyone can pitch their idea to Disney and with enough cash, they could get access to those IPs. That means that anyone can create a Marvel game or a Star Wars game, a Toy Story game and so forth. See what I’m getting at here?
That door that was once shut close on their gaming license vault could potentially be ripped wide open. And with that doesn’t mean we could see another Marvel vs Capcom title since Capcom isn’t exactly sitting on a pile of capital at the moment and there’s the little issue with fixing Street Fighter V. Though that didn’t stop the creation of a petition to get the ball rolling for a 4th entry of the Marvel vs Capcom series.
It also means that we could see an influx of games that many gamers were looking forward to, only to have been canceled due to Disney blocked access to those licenses and there were several games that fans were looking forward to.
In the end, it could be possible that Disney had wanted to pull out for some time but really didn’t have a reason or choice to do so. And while killing Disney Infinity was a definitely something that no one saw coming, perhaps this was the silver lining that the company and the fans needed.
So, when’s Marvel vs Capcom 4, Capcom? Or at the very least, get Marvel vs Capcom 2 and 3 back onto PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.