The Star Wars gaming universe hasn’t been so wonderful as of late, with cancellations of potentially amazing games, and partnerships that have’t yet yielded anything worthwhile. With a new Battlefront and Attack Squadrons on the way, active gamers should be pleased, but what of the younger set who might not be mentally equipped to take down an entire empire? What about the kids who want to see Luke Skywalker share a virtual stage with Mr. Incredible and Wreck-It Ralph? They’ll (probably) get their wishes met soon, as Disney plans to integrate the Star Wars universe into their Infinity gaming platform, along with characters from the Marvel universe. Web-slingers, lightsabers, and Sorcerer’s Apprentice hats all in the same game! This is a good thing, right?
It’s not good for everyone, as the news comes paired with reports that Disney will soon be laying off hundreds of employees working for its struggling Disney Interactive, a subsidiary that reportedly lost around $200 million a year between 2008 and 2012, but which finally found success again with the release of Infinity last year. Disney is no stranger to company housecleaning, as Interactive already lost around 50 employees a little over a year ago when Epic Mickey‘s Junction Point Studios was shut down. Also, the company’s co-president and Infinity developer John Pleasants left the company in November. (Fun fact: Disney dropped $563 million for Pleasants’ social gaming company Playdom back in 2010, and it’s one of the biggest factors in the upcoming job droppage.) No official notices have been given about the layoffs, but they’re expected to hit in the next few months.
Back to the better news, which Disney also hasn’t given a lot of press time to. The Disney Infinity system, for those who don’t know, comes with a base that hooks up to whatever system you’ve got and has a place to affix one of many different figurines, which then unlocks a adventure game specific to that character. That’s called Play Set Mode, but there’s also a Toy Box Mode that allows players to go into worlds designed by other users.
So far, it’s just been a lot of princesses and Pixar characters, but the addition of Star Wars and Marvel characters would definitely add some variety to the kinds of games that Disney puts out. Princess Leia can probably hold her own against Frozen‘s Anna, but can Han Solo take down Buzz Lightyear? Yeah, probably. If this is the only chance we get to take Guardians of the Galaxy characters through a video game, then I might have to pick one of these up, while saying that it’s for my Disney-loving daughter.
Stay tuned for more news about this unique partnership, which will hopefully leave all the pod-racing ideas back at the starting line. Take a look at one of the games below, Indiana Jones style.