Marvel’s super heroes are being thrown into Disney’s virtual toy box, Disney Infinity. In a live video broadcast online today (April 30), the company revealed that Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes will launch this fall.
The video game franchise was first released last August. It includes a series of games as well as collectible toy figures that appear in the virtual worlds when they are placed on a platform that connects to game consoles. In the past year, Disney has been capitalizing on its vast roster of characters and stories, including Frozen, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc., Phineas and Ferb, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
“Disney has always been about making memories with your family,” said Jimmy Pitaro, on stage at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California. The president of Disney Interactive went on to say that the company believes that “if we build great products, market success will follow”.
Global sales of Infinity games, action figures, and peripherals have reached US$500 million since it released last August, said Pintaro, who added that NPD Sales Group numbers indicate that the interactive gaming toys category continues to grow.
Comic writer Brian Michael Bendis and Joe Quesada, Marvel’s chief creative officer, showed off the first six figures in the Marvel Super Heroes line: Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor.
Said Bendis, who helped create the story for the first game experience and assisted with dialogue: “The stuff they’re announcing today is just the beginning. There are characters and stories that are coming up that will blow your mind.”
The new edition of Disney Infinity is being referred to as “2.0” and will be available for iOS, PS3, PS4, Windows, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Infinity general manager John Blackburn said that everything from “1.0” is fully compatible, including the base, the figures, play sets, power disks, and even the virtual worlds created by players.
The first starter pack includes Black Widow, Iron Man, and Thor, as well as an Avengers play set piece that puts players into Marvel Manhattan, which has buildings from real New York City as well as iconic buildings from the Marvel universe, such as Avengers Tower.
Character classes and character-specific skills and abilities are being introduced, and players will be able to choose how to upgrade their characters based on simple skill trees.
The process of creation in the Toy Box Mode has also been simplified, and players will be able to design and customize interior spaces, too, for the first time.
And in recognition of the fact that 60 percent of player time is spent in the Toy Box, structured play experiences are being introduced also. Two introduced at the announcement were a tower defence game in which players defend Asgard, and a dungeon crawler game where the levels are generated procedurally.