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Disney to blend toys and video games with ambitious ‘Disney Infinity’

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Disney Infinity (Credit: Disney Interactive)

It's not such a small world after all.

Disney Interactive has pulled the curtain off Disney Infinity, a massive new game experience aimed at uniting the company’s multitude of worlds and characters in one huge, interactive universe.

“You can play with your favorite Disney characters without limits,” said Disney Interactive co-president John Pleasants, who calls it “a new interactive gaming platform that brings together the best of Disney's IP past, present and future." It’s set for release this June across pretty much every system under the sun, including home consoles, PCs and mobile devices.

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Disney Infinity figures (Credit: Disney Interactive)

Taking a cue from Activision’s uber-successful Skylanders franchise, Disney Infinity will feature collectible toys that interface with game systems using a device called the 'Disney Infinity Base'. Characters from three Disney worlds -- "Monsters University," "The Incredibles" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" – will be available at launch, along with corresponding action games (dubbed ‘playsets’) based on those franchises.

It’s more than just a Skylanders clone, however. Disney Infinity includes a Toybox mode in which players can create their own games and worlds (think LittleBigPlanet or Minecraft) and mix and match characters from different Disney properties.

"Who would win a race between Lightning McQueen or Dash?" Pleasants said. "Who’s stronger: Mr. Incredible or Mike Wazowski? Who would win a sword fight between Jack Sparrow and Phineas Flynn? This is the promise and magic of Disney Infinity.”

Of course, the point of that magic is to suck up your loose cash. Packed with three figures apiece, Disney Infinity starter packs will retail for $75, with additional characters running about $13 each. The company will also sell 'Power Discs' granting characters unique powers and abilities in $5 packs.

The toy/game hybrid formula has proven immensely lucrative for Activision’s Skylanders franchise, which has raked in over $500 million since launching in 2011. Considering the household-name brands Disney can leverage in this space, Infinity could be the start of something very, very big indeed.

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