News Article

Disney Confirms That Junction Point Has Been Closed

Posted by Andy Green

Warren Spector's studio closes its doors

It has emerged today that Junction Point Studios, the developer behind the Epic Mickey series, has closed its doors and in the process made its employees — of which there were around 160 in early 2012 — redundant.

Rumours were circulating yesterday about the studio's demise, and now a Disney representative has confirmed with Polygon that the company would be closing down Warren Spector's studio.

It was with much sadness that we informed our teams today of changes to our Games organization, which include the closure of Junction Point Studios. These changes are part of our ongoing effort to address the fast-evolving gaming platforms and marketplace and to align resources against our key priorities. We're extremely grateful to Warren Spector and the Junction Point team for their creative contributions to Disney with Disney Epic Mickey and Disney Epic Mickey 2.

Warren Spector has left Disney Interactive as a result of the closure.

Spector had hinted that Epic Mickey 3 would soon be in the works and appeared to have plenty of ideas for where to take the series next. However it did appear to be unlikely considering Epic Mickey 2 only managed to sell 270,000 copies, while the original shifted 1.3 million.

Nobody likes to see a developer have to close its doors and it is certainly sad to see Junction Point close for good. We wish everyone involved all the best with their future endeavours.


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User Comments (66)



WAM2 said:

That's sad, if not surprising. If Epic Mickey 2 did as bad as you say, it seems they can't make a profitable gaming franchise. One success does not a good franchise make.
Oh, I got first comment. That's a first for me.



Xilef said:

So there goes Warren's Ducktales game?

Anyway, this is a bit sad. I loved the original Epic Mickey.



DarkCoolEdge said:

Let's see what is next for Spector after Mickey, I'm curious.

I guess this is the end for the possibities of a new Duck Tales game. Too bad, I love that show.



AugustusOxy said:

Current state of gaming. It is just going to get worse, and if Microsoft and Sony release a new console, it will destroy the industry. It costs way to much to make games anymore and no one even has half an inkling of just how expensive it is.

We should stay on the current console generation for another five years at least, just to finally balance out the expenses it takes to produce quality games. I feel like just as last generation consoles died, they had finally figured out how to make beautifully rendered, well played games... but it was too little too late.

Developers need time to get acquainted with technology and its limitations. Not throw it out the moment they hear the word "NEW!"



Whopper744 said:

Man, this kind of sucks. I was a little disappointed with some aspects of the 2nd Epic game, but I really enjoyed the concept of it, and think it could have been taken farther in the future. I hope we still get some new good Mickey games before too long.



New_3DaSh_XL said:

That's a shame. Never played any of the Epic Mickeys, but it's too bad they had to close their doors.



Kyloctopus said:

I liked Epic Mickey. I was anticipating it as soon as E3 ended. It was an excellent love letter to Disney fans (like myself) and is concidered one of my favorite Wii titles.
I hope this doesn't mean that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit's comeback is short lived.



DrKarl said:

I still need to get around to playing Deus Ex. System Shock was pretty cool, but I had too little patience in those days. Wow! His history is amazing:

I never knew that he was involved in all of these titles. Many of these are considered the best RPG's ever made. Best of luck to Mr. Spector and all of the employees.



Doge said:

ah, this was coming. First one sold wonderfully, but the second and power of illusion sold badly, so thats probably why they broke up



TheHeroOfLegend said:

That's a bit harsh. Junction Point only made two games and Disney shuts them down. Sure Epic Mickey 2 did horrible, but that's harsh.



MeloMan said:

Maybe EM2 was bad because they suspected their studio would be shut down... ya never know...



Wonder_Ideal said:

That's a shame. The series had so much potential, but a stumble with the second game appears to have sunk Junction Point. R.I.P.



SMW said:

I loved Epic Mickey, just I never got the 2nd due to not having any money. Nintendo Land is still my only Wii U game!



CorporalPegasus said:

@Oxy Another 5 years? Really? This gen has been going on for way too long, and Steam proves there's still a market for smaller games.



Silvervisiona said:

Bummer. It seems our industry is more cut throat than we'd like to think it is. Too bad, since the Epic Mickey franchise is one of the most interesting Disney IPs ever since Kingdom Hearts first came out.



StarDust4Ever said:

The first game, while good, didn't "wow" me enough to buy the second. There were a few issues with plot liniarity and such. For instance, there was one area where I was working on a side quest, then I accidentally advanced onto the next area before I realised that by doing so, I could no longer complete it. Then there were two separate ways to complete everything: "good" paintn and "evil" thinner, which presumably affected the outcome of the final ending. Good for replay value. It's just that like me, a lot of people didn't buy the second game. After all, Epic Mickey is not Super Mario Galaxy...



blackknight77 said:

I really did not enjoy Epic Mickey 2 for the PS3, but I did not expect that it would do poorly in sales.



Bulbousaur said:

While this is sad, Epic Mickey 2 did make a lot of mistakes. All it really was was an expansion of the first game with all old the problems like the camera still intact.



DarkKirby said:

Epic Mickey 1 had game play problems (the combat was VERY boring in my opinion), the camera was plain horrid and just made you angry at how it very often refused to show you what you needed or wanted to look at (trying to jump on a platform? It'll focus the camera in front of Mickey and not let you move it, ensuring you can't see what you're trying to jump to). The whole concept of the game, where if you made selfish decisions it would have negative results on the world and give you a bad/evil ending, was disallowed by Disney who said Mickey games were not allowed to have Mickey portrayed as an intentionally uncaring protagonist and could not have a bad ending, so instead your choices were now meaningless. I wanted the games to be good, but as they were terrible, I can't say I care there isn't going to be another Epic Mickey.



Knux said:

Considering how many mixed things I have heard about the Epic Mickey games (I currently only own the first one and haven't played it yet, but plan to buy the other two down the road), this really doesn't surprise me. People can blame Warren Spector all day long, but I think that Disney could have limited his vision and possibly rushed the games. I have heard that Disney prevented Spector from putting certain things in the game, and Disney likely rushed DreamRift on finishing Power of Illusion in time for the holidays. I really don't see the logic of Disney doing these things when those games weren't even based on any movies. I guess Disney viewed the Epic Mickey games as nothing more than a quick buck.

Regardless of whose fault is whose, it's sad that Junction Point Studios will never get the chance to become something extraordinary.



ecco6t9 said:

Warren should join Dreamrift and continue the franchise as 2D 3DS installments that can be ported to PSN/XBLA/eShopU.



Dragmedown said:

I own and enjoy Epic Mickey 2 on the 3ds very much!

This is just sad for gaming overall.

Es no bueno



SparkOfSpirit said:

This industry is getting worse and worse.

So long to another platforming franchise and a promising studio.

Now we'll never get that DuckTales game. :/



MagicEmperor said:

It is sad to see people lose their jobs. Hopefully they can find work very soon. But, personally, I'm glad there won't be another Ostensibly-Epic Mickey.



KingDunsparce said:

Even if I didn't like the first game (I thought it was pretty boring) and didn't buy the second, it's still sad to see people lose their jobs like this.



gohanrage said:

I am not surprised by this. the games didn't sell enough. If the games had more polish to fix camera issues they might of been successful. plus I never once seen a Commercial either game on Television.

I agree with people sad about more people in the gaming industry loosing their jobs



brooks83 said:

It really is sad that one poorly selling game can kill off studios these days.



Bankai said:

One game fails. Studio is closed.

My what a healthy industry the games industry is.



Cevan said:

It seems all the characters that we were reminded of in the Epic Mickey games will once again slip back into Wasteland, forgotten once again.



Drobotic said:

I thought Epic Mickey was a good way to teach kids about old cartoons.Too bad EM2 was such a flop.



NintyMan said:

This is truly sad, and perhaps it was a bit harsh of Disney to shutter their doors so abruptly. I can understand the idea that if Juction Point couldn't get it right the second time that they might not have done it a third, but perhaps if they were truly serious they could have taken their time with a third game and flesh out the flaws of the whole series to make it a true hit, but now that will not happen. I hope they all can find a new position very soon.

One thing I hope doesn't happen is for characters like Oswald and the Mad Doctor to be forgotten once again, so Disney should bring them back somehow. Maybe they can appear in Disney Infinity?



Void said:

Thats too bad, I would probably be sad, but I didn't really like the first Epic Mickey, and didn't feel the need to try the second.



BlueNitrous said:

This makes sense. Disney obsession with making money is nothing new. Make something that garners great reviews and fans but doesn't sell well is scrapped. Same with most major companies, even Nintendo. (Where's my Pro Wrestling sequel?



CanisWolfred said:

Sucks for those who worked on the games. Not sorry for lack of future Epic Mickey games, though...which this may not even mean...



DaemonSword said:

I hope Disney didn't pull an 'EA' on Spector, just like EA did with Richard Garriot and Origin Systems



Bankai said:

@Le_Wario26 "obsession with making money"...

You do realise that is the sole purpose that a company exists, right? I'll never understand why people pretend that companies should be doing more than making money. It would be completely unethical, and likely illegal, for a company to deliberately lose interest in making money.



YujiPro said:

That's a bummer for those that lost their jobs, but I can't say I'm too broken up about it.



Ichiban said:

The way things are going, soon gamers will only have COD, Fifa, Mario, & Halo to play.
This industry is eating itself alive, & new super powered consoles from MS & Sony are just going to make things worse development wise.
The gaming crash happened 30 years ago this year, it might be celebrating its anniversary with some new friends....



YujiPro said:

@MeowGravy And that is why I'm most likely going to stick with just Wii U this generation. Call me crazy, but I want a little more than sports games, shooters, and pc ports.



Raylax said:

Doesn't even seem to be a bankruptcy thing. Disney had no more use for Junction Point, shut them down. This is why I don't like Disney as a business operation, lol.

"These changes are part of our ongoing effort to address the fast-evolving gaming platforms and marketplace and to align resources against our key priorities."

Translation: "We intend to milk heaps of cash out of the Disney Infinity franchise, which these guys aren't involved with. Naturally, the only option is to fire them all."



Jukilum said:

@Raylax The only way Junction Point would have gone under due to bankruptcy is if Disney itself went through bankruptcy.



Inev said:

I wonder why Epic Mickey 2 and Power of Illusion were released when they were, as clearly they were unfinished products. They were both released on Wii U launch day, which doesn't make any sense; Power of 2 was multi-platform, and Power of Illusion was a 3DS exclusive.



Henmii said:

I had hoped for a better fate for them, but the truth is they probably weren't that good! Epic Mickey was far from great, and according to many reviews the sequel was worse!



Lopezdm said:

It sucks to say this but Disney just doesn't sell like it used to. I' sure that the team was very talented. They just needed a better IP, I wish them the best of luck.



seronja said:

so where is Warren Spector going now? i would recommend for him to go work at Rare or Double Fine production.



Banker-Style said:

That is a massive shame,I really enjoyed the Epic Mickey games,sad to see we won't get a threequel.
I really hope Oswald doesn't fade into obscurity again,hopefully he'll appear in Disney Infinity.

I feel like I could cry.



DerpSandwich said:

"These changes are part of our ongoing effort to [close studios that make no effort to playtest or polish their games]."




FabioSMASH said:

YEAH!! F--k these guys! I hated their games and everyone who worked on them and now I'm GLAD they're all unemployed!!!

Every black-hearted, spoiled brat on this forum to make this same, basic sentiment.



MagicEmperor said:

@br1an I don't like the Epic Mickey series, but I would never be so callous to say something like that. I hope ever EM detractor agrees.



Henmii said:

"Well at the very least some of the employees got jobs at Retro"

Hopefully they are GOOD employees!! I would cry a ocean if they would mess up Retro's games!! It would be terrible!!

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