Disney's Interactive unit has racked up losses of $1.41 billion since it was formed in 2008. Now, it is pinning its hopes on a $100 million videogame/toy line called 'Infinity' that features any and all of the company's cast of characters.
The cost of making Disney Infinity game and toys is reportedly $100 million, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing "people close to the company."
According to the publication, Disney passed on developing Star Wars titles and canned development on an Iron Man game scheduled for release this year to focus resources on Disney Infinity.
The game, developed by Avalanche Software, draws characters from Disney and Pixar properties. The Toy Box mode allows players to create their own adventuresin a free-form sandbox world. The game is also tied to a line of collectible toys and play sets that enable in-game features when placed on a wireless sensor. It is similar to Activision Blizzard's Skylanders franchise, which has earned the company more than $1.5 billion in revenue since launching in 2011.
Disney CEO Bob Iger told Wall Street analysts in February that if Disney Infinity is a success "it bodes very well for the bottom line" of Disney Interactive, according to The Wall Street Journal, adding if it doesn't do well "the opposite will be the case."
Revealed in January, Disney Infinity is set for release on Aug. 18 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Disney Infinity's characters would "exist and interact in one game across" platforms. Disney Infinity was originally slated for a release in June; however, a two-month delay was reportedly requested by retailers.
Through two new mobile and tablet apps, Disney Infinity players will be able to stay connected to their characters. Disney Infinity: Action! lets players interact with their characters and is free to download as of Aug. 15. Disney Infinity: Toy Box is an extended version of the console-based mode and will be released at a later date.