Annual franchises are a major part of industry, so it’s always somewhat surprising when a major publisher announces it won’t have a new release for one of its big franchises. However, Disney’s revelation that there won’t be a fourth version for Disney Infinity in 2016 is a little different. Rather than put out a whole new disk with more upgrades to the well regarded franchise, Disney is opting to release new play-sets and figures over the course of the next year that take advantage of they already impressive tools established in 3.0.
According to the franchise’s general manager, John Blackburn, the developers spent the last few years making major improvements to their engine and tool-set to accommodate the addition of Marvel and Star Wars characters, settings, and mechanics into the game, and they now felt it would be wise to spend some more time refining what is already there rather than jump right into the next feature or idea. That’s not to say that there won’t be new content coming to Disney Infinity; after all, the figures and play-sets are the real life blood/revenue generators of the game. Fans can expect to see new content based on upcoming Disney and Pixar animated films (Zootopia and Finding Dory), the next entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange), and of course Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will also be getting the infinity treatment. You can also be on the lookout for new stuff from Alice Through the Looking Glass and The Jungle Book, both the animated classic and the upcoming live-action version.
Ultimately, I have to give some credit to Disney, the Infinity franchise has been exceptionally popular and while some people might debate the business model of locking content with action figures, they could have just as easily made people shell out even more money and gated the latest toys behind a 4.0 disc or download. Also, considering just how diverse the series’ content has become, it’s somewhat difficult to see what direction Disney will take the series in next, so I can’t blame the publisher for taking some time to think it through rather than just add new stuff haphazardly for the sake of justifying a brand new version.