Disney unveils own 'Skylanders'-like franchise
This undated publicity photo released by the Walt Disney Company shows the video game, Disney Infinity: The Toy Box. (AP Photo/Walt Disney Company)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Captain Jack Sparrow driving Cinderella's carriage? Mr. Incredible swinging the Queen of Hearts' flamingo mallet? Sulley from "Monsters, Inc." galloping around on Bullseye from "Toy Story"? Those are just a few of the silly scenarios that could become a virtual reality with "Disney Infinity," a new endeavor from Disney combining a video game with a toy line.
The Walt Disney Co. revealed plans Tuesday to launch what it's billing as a new gaming platform that's strikingly similar to Activision's successful "Skylanders" franchise.
"Infinity" will blend real-life toy figures depicting various Disney personalities with a sprawling virtual world where those same characters can do stuff like race cars, play games and construct buildings together, as well as go on adventures in their own realms.
"We wanted to make it so that we could have lots of characters from lots of stories we create at Pixar and Disney come together in one place," Disney-Pixar animation chief John Lasseter said at the Tuesday unveiling of "Infinity" at Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre.
"Infinity" will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PC, online and on tablets and smartphones. It's being crafted by Disney-owned developer Avalanche Software, which created the 2010 game based on "Toy Story 3." That game's "toy box" mode served as inspiration for what eventually became "Infinity."
Akin to "Skylanders," the plastic figures have the ability to store data and transmit characters' histories through a reader. Also like "Skylanders," the toys can work between consoles, meaning a Mr. Incredible figure can seamlessly go from a PS3 in your living room to the Wii in your friend's basement.
This undated publicity photo released by Walt Disney Company shows the video game, Disney Infinity: Monsters University Play Set. (AP Photo/Walt Disney Company)
The game is essentially divided into two modes: "play sets," featuring structured adventures where gamers can collect vehicles, scenery, gadgets and more; and the "toy box," an unstructured open world where users' imaginations can run wild, much like the games "Minecraft" and "LittleBigPlanet." Both modes allow for gamers to play cooperatively or online together.