News Article

Epic Mickey Future In Doubt After Sequel Falls Short In Sales

Posted by Damien McFerran

Epic Mickey 2 only sold 270,000 copies to the original's 1.3 million

Let's face it, Epic Mickey 2 was something of a critical disappointment. After the promise of the first game, we had high hopes that the follow-up would be even better, but as our Epic Mickey 2 Wii U review shows, it was a bit of letdown.

It would seem that the poor reaction has extended to the game's commercial fortunes too, as a report in the LA Times illustrates:

Although the 2010 game was a modest success, selling 1.3 million units in the U.S. from its November launch through the end of that year, 2012’s sequel sold only 270,000 copies during the comparable time period, according to a person with access to sales data from research firm NPD Group who was not authorized to share it publicly.

It’s unclear whether Spector and his Texas-based Junction Point Studios will continue working with Disney. [John] Pleasants declined to discuss the topic and Spector could not be reached for comment.

It would be a real shame if the series ended on such a bum note, but is there any way forward from here? Let us know by leaving a comment.

[via neogaf.com, latimes.com]

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User Comments (55)

LEGEND_MARIOID

#1

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

That's a shame. The first game was good but I don't think it sold well in the UK. The latest game was average, bland, clunky and lacklustre. But I hope a 3rd game is made addressing all the games' flaws once and for all. Looks like they'll concentrate on Infinity now.

Sun

#2

Sun said:

NL: 'It’s unclear whether Spector and his Texas-based Junction Point Studios will continue working with Disney'. Those would be excellent news indeed.

cornishlee

#3

cornishlee said:

Poor reviews for the first and worse for the second; hardly a surprise they'd give up.

NintyMan

#4

NintyMan said:

It's a true shame. I thought the original game was pretty good, but the sequel has too many disappointments to overlook. It would be nice if they made a third game that fixed the series' flaws, but if they couldn't get it right the second time, why try a third? That's why I wouldn't be shocked if they did cancel the Epic Mickey series, but I would still be disappointed.

Regardless, it seems like Disney Interactive is focusing more on Disney Infinity now.

fluggy

#5

fluggy said:

Have no sympathy for Games devs who release this substandard, buggy trash... Particularly if its aimed at kids who can maybe only afford 1 or 2 games a year. If u can't make good games, maybe its time to find a new profession. The fact that most of these companies know their games are crap when they release them makes it even worse. Think independent reviewers should be appointed to rate all games before their release. If it doesn't get an average of 8+ then its added to the scrap heap. Maybe then they'd take play testing and quality control a little more seriously.

Banker-Style

#6

Banker-Style said:

I was worry about this,as I heard the sales weren't that great.
Hopefully Specter will give it one more chance and actually make a brilliant threequel,but with Disney Infinity coming and likely to 10 times more than this,I can see Disney dropping the series.

Shame.

Bankai

#7

Bankai said:

Um, Junction Point either continues to work with Disney or it gets shut down. Disney acquired it.

These sales figures surprised me... But then I realised that it was released at the worst possible time, in an amongst a swarm of other AAA game releases. If the game had have been released say, tomorrow, I would think it would have performed better.

A1234

#8

A1234 said:

that is sad. I got the wii version and I am enjoying it as much as the original.

TrueWiiMaster

#9

TrueWiiMaster said:

It would be disappointing if the series died having never reached its lofty potential, but what can you really say? The developer failed to fix glaring issues from the first game.

photofool83

#10

photofool83 said:

Power of Illusion was my most anticipated title of 2012.
After playing it, it became my biggest disappointment of 2012.

(And I give thanks to PM: Sticker Star. Which was my biggest surprise of 2012.)

Sun

#11

Sun said:

The problem is that if you cannot make a game with less camera issues than the first 3D games ever created you should not release them until you find a way to make it decent. Bugs, lots of camera issues, nasty frame rate... The game might be beautiful but beauty is not enough for games.

Whopper744

#12

Whopper744 said:

I say give it a little time...i hate to see it go...
Maybe change up the formula even. Focus on Oswald or something (no offense Mickey! :p)

rjejr

#14

rjejr said:

What's that equal to, about a 75% drop-off from the 1st to 2nd game?

Makes you wonder how many people bought the first game b/c it was Mickey Mouse, but they must have hated it to not buy the 2nd.

1 million people go poof

SteveW

#15

SteveW said:

It would have sold a lot better on the Wii U if it has better controls for single player.

Mk_II

#16

Mk_II said:

The first game may have sold well for the publisher but many copies were never sold to customers. A lot of shops overstocked this game and I'm still seeing them in almost every bargain bin. Once bitten...

SammyOfMobius

#17

SammyOfMobius said:

Stop it with Epic Mickey! Bring back classic black and white cartoons except with Mickey AND Oswald!

Svengoolie

#18

Svengoolie said:

They have a great concept with Epic Mickey, but it shouldn't be based around painting and thinning. That was the gimmick of the first game, but it should have been something different the second time around. And the painting is just so terrible in the 3DS game. Someone with more creativity should take charge of the franchise and make it something great.

SheldonRandoms

#20

SheldonRandoms said:

Untitled

I remember years ago, that this cover made me really interested in the game, it looked so.......... different then anything else Mickey was doing at the time, so I waited for some reviews and Nintendolife gave it a 7/10 so I thought it was good enough and bought it, I thought it was good, but I enjoyed Sonic Colors way more then Epic Mickey, then the sequel came out and I waited for some reviews, bargain bin for the Wii version for me then.................but the 3DS version, just go to the 3DS review and read what I thought about that.

UnseatingKDawg

#21

UnseatingKDawg said:

Well, I see it this way - it's a combination of other examples above - there were other top-notch or hyped up games released around the same time, the economy in the US is probably worse than it was in 2010 (don't know about the rest of the world), and they decided to go multi-platform. They probably lost more sales due to the multi-platform decision, since other platforms were more expensive than just the Wii version. They also possibly lost sales due to not having the first game on other said platforms. Sure, the framerate drops a bit in the Wii version, and Oswald doesn't respond sometimes (since when do we have a perfect AI partner in videogames? They're bound to tick you off at some point or another), but overall the gameplay is improved with the paint and thinner, and it's brighter than the original, so you can actually see where the hell you're going. So yeah, it has its flaws. But it's not a bad game.

@fluggy: When you refer to "independent reviewers", I hope you aren't including anyone from GameInformer in that circle. They have a nasty habit of shooting down potentially good games and overrating games that are average or poor.

fortius54

#22

fortius54 said:

Well, I bought the first version, and I thought with the exception of the camera system and an occassional quest it was pretty good. I do think it was a mistake going on every platform. It most likely should have stayed exclusive. Nintendo would have been more likely to stand behind it. I will pick it up eventually.

I actually just finished the 3DS Power of Illusion, and I thought it was a pretty good platformer. If you ignore the side quests, it can be beat in about six hours so that may be a turn off for some, but I thought it was a pretty good game.

Tasuki

#23

Tasuki said:

The thing that made Epic Mickey one sell better was its advertising and the anticipation. While IMO it wasnt a great game, but alot of people bought it at launch because of the build up only to be disappointed later. By the time that second one came around people had an idea what they were going to get and didnt fell that the launch price justified that.

Same thing kinda of happened with Power of Illusion. I knew alot of people who wanted that game due to the press releases and the build up around the game saying that it was akin to the Castle of Illusion series on the Genesis but than once the Demo came out and people got a chance to play it alot of people were disappointed with it, mainly with the mechanics.

In the end with both games not doing as good as they predicted it only makes sense that a third one wont be coming. After all their in the business to make money and if the cant convince their stockholders and investors that said product will make back X amount well than its a no go.

hbkay

#25

hbkay said:

A two word review(not 'poo sandwich')summed it up for me....... 'Epic Fail'

edcomics

#26

edcomics said:

When I finally got around to playing Epic Mickey, I was sorely disappointed. Much like Bill Goldberg's WWF run, Epic Mickey just didn't live up to the hype. As I've grown older, I've realized that Disney isn't really all that amazing, and its characters and stories are actually pretty weak. Mickey Mouse, for example, isn't even really a Disney creation. He's just another iteration of the generic cartoon mice seen in other cartoons, such as Felix the Cat.

The actual Epic Mickey game was super-hyped, but it didn't deliver. It felt different than what had been described, somehow. It had no real depth. It felt cheap. It's really just a "meh" game for me, and though I'm sure some people really enjoyed it, I'd venture to say most people were disappointed by the experience. Sometimes an experience doesn't warrant a sequel. Epic Mickey is such an experience.

As some have said above, the 3DS demo was a huge turnoff. It felt so cheap to me. It was almost insulting. I think Disney thought it would be easy to create a blockbuster game. They got lucky with Epic Mickey, thanks to their hype machine. They phoned in the sequel and 3DS versions, though, and this is the result.

Windy

#27

Windy said:

The 3DS version Totally shut me off to this series. Well the Demo Turned me off. Loved the First game on Wii. I also Loved Castle of Illusion and Power of Illusion was no Castle of Illusion :(

stipey

#29

stipey said:

Disney messed it up themselves then, by making sure both games came out really quickly. The developer of the 3DS game hinted that Disney had actually made them cut the game short to get it out on time. Couple that with the fact that the game was announced and then released with very little fanfare, and it's surprising that Disney would even expect good sales.

Dogpigfish

#30

Dogpigfish said:

I read they sold 1.1 million across consoles according to npd, that's not a bad number. It went platinum.

Tallion

#31

Tallion said:

If you make terrible games with blatant problems, It won't sell well. Am I the only person confused by how this game got out of play testing?

WanderingPB

#33

WanderingPB said:

Its disappointing because i truly enjoyed playing the first game… as for the sequel the few problems like framerate and gamepad functionality make the Wii U version quite disappointing.
I really hope Junction Point gives us a patch instead of just giving up on the few that believed in them and purchased the game already.
If they release a patch for Epic Mickey 2 for the Wii U i would still buy Epic Mickey 3 but if not then i wouldnt trust them when it comes to the future of this franchise

brandonbwii

#35

brandonbwii said:

As someone who bought the original, I didn't buy the sequel due to such negative press. Things like tacked on and awkward 2 player and worse story kept me away.

ToxieDogg

#36

ToxieDogg said:

I enjoyed the first Epic Mickey but it was no classic, with some horrible, poorly designed sections to navigate and an awful camera. The 3DS game I quite liked but again it was no classic and severely lacked variety and a long term challenge. I have Epic Mickey 2 for Wii (nearly bought it on Wii-U but decided against it after reviews) but have yet to play it....by what I've heard though, the majority of reviewers liked it less than the first game. Basically, what I'm saying is...the concept and art style of these games is a lot better than these games actually are in terms of gameplay. It's a pity the series has all but died, but that's nobody's fault but the developers for not making very good games in the first place. :(

ecco6t9

#37

ecco6t9 said:

I think what should of happened was Nintendo step in to provide development assistance in exchange for Wii/Wii U exclusivity.

Sun

#38

Sun said:

The funniest thing is that Warren Spector said that Epic Mickey was one of the very best Wii games and that the camera was good and critics were exaggerating when complaining about it!! I bought the game, the gameplay is bland and the camera is the worst I've ever played with. And what do they do? An even worse sequel and a broken 'Castle of Ilusion' version.

MagicEmperor

#39

MagicEmperor said:

I'm gonna get my opinion out of the way: Good riddance.

But a lot of people love this series, so I'm sorry for them.

SparkOfSpirit

#40

SparkOfSpirit said:

Get better level designers. Those guys who left Rare should be plenty available.

The first game was released for 1 system and sold over a million and the sequel released for 4 could barely even reach a quarter of the sales. This tells me that Junction Point needs a major shake up.

MagicEmperor

#41

MagicEmperor said:

Feel free to delete this comment if it's too much of a spoiler, but I'm curious and looking for a yes/no answer. Does Epic Mickey 2 end on any sort of cliffhanger?

Sir_Deadly

#42

Sir_Deadly said:

Promise of the first game? Idk wut game u played, but the first game was major disappointing with boring and repetitive gameplay! I am surprised it even got a sequel. This was not a surprise at all for me. Next Time some one makes a Mickey game, they need to start fresh and do not take any points from any past mickey games!!!

47drift

#43

47drift said:

I'm currently replaying the first Epic Mickey after a lovely trip to Disneyland made me crave more Oswald. I've yet to pick up the second game, but many tell me it's significantly worse than the first, which is a shame because I thoroughly enjoy Epic Mickey. If they fixed up everything for a third installment, I'd be all over it.

Retro_on_theGo

#45

Retro_on_theGo said:

No more Epic Mickey would be fine with me. I never really liked it and it's been nothing but disappointments. Better for them to not risk the cash.

C7_

#46

C7_ said:

The first Epic Mickey was marketed with the idea that you could be mischievous without any punishment and even sported a cool mechanic that made it seem like your were in charge of entire world and could determine what they looked like. Upon delivery, it was shown to be a disjointed 3D platformer with bad camera angles, very 'eh' controls, and a system that actively rewarded you for using paint, and punished you for thinner (worse music, character drips more, people complain more etc.) On top of that the environments that were supposedly malleable were simply binary and looked terrible if you didn't use all paint or all thinner.

In short, it was marketed very well but badly executed and people aren't going to fall for it twice, ESPECIALLY if your main new selling feature is just that it's two-player. So yeah, I'm not too devastated by it and they really should've waited longer to make a sequel anyway.

Luffymcduck

#47

Luffymcduck said:

My memories from the first game:

  • Bad Camera
  • Terrible combat
    Despite those it was a bad game, there just are just so many games I´d rather play than that. Not going to buy a second one, maybe play at it my friends house, if anyone of them wants to BUY this.

Just make a Donald Duck or Scrooge McDuck game based on Carl Barks´comics.

Neram

#49

Neram said:

That's really too bad. I can't say much because I've never actually played the sequel, but after the success of the first game, this comes as a bit of a surprise. I wouldn't be shocked if this were the last Disney game we see from Junction Point.

Tantan

#50

Tantan said:

The same thing happened with de Blob. Lesson to developers and publishers: keep your games exclusive to a Nintendo platform.

Henmii

#51

Henmii said:

"Epic Mickey Future In Doubt After Sequel Falls Short In Sales"

Can't say I am very sad about this! Epic Mickey was never that "Epic" to begin with!

On a funny side-note: Epic Mickey is called Mickey Epic in Germany! Ooooh, those crazy Germans!!

EpicKirby101

#53

EpicKirby101 said:

@MultiMariosonic Wut you got against mickey and oswald? The black and white cartoon characters would be a good idea, but mickey has to be in it, he's kinda the mascot of Disney if you forgot.

DaveC

#54

DaveC said:

I had high hopes for the 3DS version. Then I played the demo, it was pure crap. The painting and thinning got old after the third time to the point of it being drudgery.

Then the graphics weren't even 3D as in different depths for the characters and the background. Only once in a while was there a clearing with some depth behind the flat game screen. They should have at least had 4 depths, a forground being closest, then a layer with the characters and platforms, then a couple of parallax background layers.

The whole thing felt like a cheap production that they put very little effort into. It was also extremely short from what I have heard. If they want to know why the game bombed they need to blame themselves for a crappy, dodgy, rushed out product.

Pooky72811

#55

Pooky72811 said:

I don't want the series to end considering that I was really excited when I heard about the second game. But the first time I played it I realized that they could do better. When I saw the commercials for the first game, I thought that it looked stupid, but my brother decided to buy it and I watched him play it, then I started to pick up on it. I would of never underestimated you again but as exciting as it was to play multiplayer in the second game, the game itself was a huge disappointment on my part. I hope you make a third one and maybe make one for Oswald by himself.

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