News Article

Disney Infinity Has Reportedly Cost "Well Over $100 million" to Produce

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"It's a Hail Mary with a tremendous amount of pressure to be a hit"

Disney Infinity is a game with the substantial muscle of its namesake company behind it, as it attempts to barge into the game-plus-collectible toy formula that's made Activision's accountants so very happy with the Skylanders franchise. With the build-up and range of add-ons and figurines, it's the very definition of a high-profile, high-visibility game release.

On top of that the game itself is ambitious, and combining all of these efforts has apparently been an expensive undertaking for Disney Interactive; The Wall Street Journal has quoted sources close to the company saying that production of the game and merchandise has run up a bill of "well over $100 million". Naturally that brings a lot of pressure with the project, at which Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger hinted earlier in the year — "if 'Infinity' does well, it bodes very well for the bottom line of this unit. If it doesn't do well, the opposite will be the case".

Brand power will clearly be vital, with major film characters making up the collectible and in-game content, with Disney Interactive clearly reliant on eager gamers snapping up the various figures, itself a pricey hobby. It's worked for Activision, however, and Disney Interactive — which includes the Disney's videogame, online and mobile businesses — has incurred losses of $1.41 billion since 2008, a trend that clearly has to be reversed.

The first task for Disney Infinity, however, is to capture the public's imagination enough to recoup its costs. It arrives on the Wii U, Wii and 3DS on 18th August in North America and 20th August in Europe.

[via online.wsj.com, polygon.com]

More Stories

Game Screenshots

User Comments (52)

fluggy

#1

fluggy said:

Got that sinking feeling this will be pants!! A cheap method to exploit little kids and gullible parents. If u invest £100,000,000 quid into something u better make sure its exceptional. . . reviews better average 90%+ .... I'm predicting 60%.

6ch6ris6

#2

6ch6ris6 said:

pirates of the carrabian playset looks really cool. the others dont interest me so i wont get this game. i dont even understand the formula. do i have to buy the damn toys to play the game?

shawnspitler

#3

shawnspitler said:

The cost probably has something to do with all the executive producers who, despite having never touched the game, demand their cut.

Whopper744

#5

Whopper744 said:

I'll be helping them with that money spent that's for sure.
I will never understand Sunday game launches.....whyyyyy

XFsWorld

#6

XFsWorld said:

I'll get it some point next. Happy to see the Incredibles in it. So they will need atleast about 3 million units sold if you put together the total numbers of all platforms combined.

King47

#8

King47 said:

Me no likey disney. So no thank you. But I think they can make the money from kids and parents.

unrandomsam

#10

unrandomsam said:

In what universe does ZombiU cost $700,000,000 (I believe that Ubisoft are liars personally).

Cuddles

#11

Cuddles said:

Interesting insight from Disney. So are you telling us if it does well that is a good thing, and if it doesn't do well that is bad. Captivating.

AlexSora89

#12

AlexSora89 said:

@6ch6ris6
Sadly, yes. Even worse, there are people out there - of course - wanting to exploit this mechanic, so much that they've actually wanted Nintendo to implement this functionality on the Wii U Gamepad itself. Someone (Ubisoft IIRC) reportedly stated that Nintendo "needs" NFC to be one of the WiiU's features. Yeah. This is gonna get ugly.

Marshi

#15

Marshi said:

I have a nearly 3 yr old who loves the wiiu so thinking of getting this for him,but id like to enjoy it too,i love disney they rarely do things wrong when it comes to their movies(lone ranger and the straight to dvds notwithstanding!) but like its been mentioned I dont even know how the game works.Is it a platformer?sandbox?collect em up? The trailers are great at show all the franchises within the game but really dont convey the gameplay well

Warbeard

#16

Warbeard said:

It's strange - they readily throw 200+ million dollars at movies, but half of that is an insane amount for a game

Nintenjoe64

#17

Nintenjoe64 said:

@unrandomsam I think they are lying or incredibly stupid. They boasted about low development costs before the Wii U's release and they clearly spent very little on marketing ZombiU after release (but I do wonder if all the fancy CG teasers cost lots), it's not as though their rendition of London was particularly massive or detailed and it appears to have sold well at launch based on the number of Miiverse user posts and initial sales figures that were released. Ubisoft even spoke about potential sequels a fair amount of time after launch so for someone to then say it wasn't profitable and won't be getting a sequel smells like either they lied at first, are lying now or are just jumping on some kind of pointless WiiU bashing band-wagon.

Jaz007

#18

Jaz007 said:

@Warbeard Movies are a much broader market than games. You can get a lot more people to see a movie than buy a $60 game.

MrGawain

#19

MrGawain said:

This will be a success because it has so many Disney IP's that appeal to kids from 5-12 years old, and some older people. if it costs $100m to make, and 2m kids spend $100 on it (more than likely will be more than that), it will make money easily. Also it's going to be released before Sklyanders Swap Force.

Skylanders however, with its predictably stale, shallow gameplay, repetitive characters and parent hatred may get kicked in the portal this year.

Kyloctopus

#20

Kyloctopus said:

This game looks really great. I'm going to buy this, in hopes that it succeeds. I'm not one to have fun in sandbox games, but perhaps Disney Infinity will positively twist the genre for me.
@Warbeard Most AAA game developer usually put in something of $20 Million to $80 Million. So, well over $100 Million is considered both crazy and confident that ghe game will sell.
Also, $200 Million is still pretty crazy for movies, unless you're Disney, or 20th Century Fox.

rjejr

#22

rjejr said:

Don't confuse selling a $100m game with a never ending and ever changing supply of Disney toys. They could probably give the game away for free and still make $100m on the toys alone.

I was in Target yesterday and half an aisle was empty and set up for this game. The other half of the aisle was still Skylanders Giants, no sign of Swapforce yet. I really should have taken a picture.

Worse case scenario, this game/toy collection still does a whole lot better than Lone Ranger. Nobody loses their job over this. Some may even get raises.

cdude

#23

cdude said:

Odds are good that the people that hate on this game dont fully understand it and with the media managing to be more stupid on an increasingly reliable basis, thats understandable. So, copy and paste this next part and tell all your friends...

The Starter Set comes with three figures that each represent a different player campaign/ adventure that can be expected to last around ten hours each. Of course the game also offers the freeplay/ world building/ game making mode also, but theres no story or missions in that.

You do not have to buy all the figures to access levels. Figures sold by themselves merely become playable in their respective universes playset and in free play mode.

Each package marked "playset" like the lone ranger, toy story and cars playsets, will each offer their own ten hour campaings/ adventures as well as offering up lots of unlockables for free play mode.

Lastly, and kind of obviously, the game genres within playsets are defined by their respective chatacters, so the cars playset features racing, lone ranger stopping outlaws, pirates swashbuckling, buzz lightyear rescuing aliens, sully scaring the crap out of people and on and on.

The concept is fantastic and no purchase is required beyond that of the playsets, with future figure purchases only being required IF you want to play through the same exact campaign with a specific character from that universe.

Im seriously all in as soon as we get confirmation that the stories and campaigns in the playsets arent toddler-ific and actually have a bit of depth, but every preview and review ive seen SWEARS that ALL this stuff blew them away with its quality and refinement.

rmeyer

#24

rmeyer said:

This will probably be a huge hit though. Disney has already captured the living room. I think Skylanders is in trouble with this one

NintyMan

#28

NintyMan said:

$100 million is just a drop in the bucket for an entertainment empire like Disney. I don't reasonably see a scenario in which this concept fails. It will make a ton of money for Disney and will seriously appeal to kids. The game itself looks rather nice and gives you a lot of freedom to do whatever you want. Not only does it appeal to the kids' collecting, but also to older players who might be interested in creating their own race tracks and games in Disney Infinity.

I'm interested in it because I am a Disney fan and creating crossover Disney worlds, race tracks, and games appeals to me. I won't get it right away, but I will consider it for Christmas or early next year. Thinking of Christmas, that would be a really good time for Disney to take advantage of the market.

Dreamcaster-X

#29

Dreamcaster-X said:

Boy, that CEO Bob Iger is a pretty bright one isn't he...

"if 'Infinity' does well, it bodes very well for the bottom line of this unit. If it doesn't do well, the opposite will be the case".

EPIC insight!!!! On a side note I have my Wii U version ordered along with some extra characters & playsets.
= )

tovare

#32

tovare said:

@rjejr The price of the starter pack is proably pretty close break even on distribution and manufacturing for Disney. The distribution chain takes a huge portion, then the added overhead for producing hardware and figures and more on global shipment. And I doubt the extraordinary store-exposure both online and in shops is free (altough I don't know the market segment well enough to gauge financial impact).

Relias

#34

Relias said:

Oh boy.. and people wonder why there is going to be a second gaming crash.. (It's coming.. all the elements are there.. the economy is struggling.. big companies buy little companies.. and force them to rush out their releases with bad ideas.. gaming companies rushing to get things out.. and the general fact that various tech is taking gaming dollars.. ) Companies need to start limiting their budgets.. and releases.. or need to start making small E Shop stuff to make up the difference.. (Which may or may not cut it).. They need to learn the hard lesson Hollywood did... otherwise.. there will be not just a crash but a complete destruction of gaming as we know it today.. (Though yeah you will still have your Tower Defense etc.. you'll just have to say bye bye to things like Splinter Cell etc.. with beautiful fully rendered 3D worlds.. and what not)

Back to the topic.. well.. generally speaking.. advertising... the toy line... plus every movie license.. it took to make this game.. along with all the other payment's required.. not surprised.. the games saving graces will be...

1. It's Disney and based off their movies.. (The best of them)

2. It's going to launch on a lot of different platforms.. (Which will equal out the costs.. between the figures.. and the various platforms)

Zombie_Barioth

#35

Zombie_Barioth said:

@Relias
Pretty much what I was thinking. I have no problem believing this will do well, being Disney, collectable toys, and videogames all rolled into one says it all. I've had my aunt, who has no clue about this stuff, ask if Skylanders is something I might like without so much as a second thought. Thats how well it caught on, so just imagine having a well known brand like Disney attached to it.

The only thing that concerns me here, is just how many of these NFC games can we have before the house of cards comes crashing down?

TheAdrock

#36

TheAdrock said:

I predict epic bombing, like Lone Ranger & John Carter recently. Obviously I haven't played it, but to judge a book by its cover, there just aren't any really cool characters. Skylanders has cool characters. What kids want to play the role of Monsters U guys, or Phineas and Ferb, or even Pirates? Maybe the Cars guys or Toy Story would catch some younger interest, but I just don't see kids going ape sh** like they do for Skylanders.

EDIT: I'm a classic Disney fan, not a hater. Where's the girl toys, like Mermaid and those chicks? Peter Pan and/or Jake and the Neverland Pirates might have caught some traction.

unrandomsam

#37

unrandomsam said:

@ljb88 I think that was the figure they stated on this very site as to be why it wasn't profitable. Search for ZombiU there is a fair few articles/interviews with them moaning about it. (I cannot see how it can be the truth and if it is they are in serious need of better bean counters).

Pixiey

#38

Pixiey said:

I am 43 and pre ordered a starter set with Gamestop as soon as they offered a free figure with the sidekick and you also get a free small disk pack too. I am a huge Disney fan and cannot wait. I do love Skylanders Giants and have played it a lot. I think this one might have more game play to it! I cannot wait!!

Relias

#39

Relias said:

@Zombie_Barioth Simple Answer.. not to many.. unless they put it on a more limited scale(Think Pokemon Rumble U which has what.. 18 figures but even at that cost's no more than 20.00 that is a huge difference.. especially since the figures are optional.. and this.. will be required) They woud be better off coming up with Online CCG and making the prices equal to others or less as they wish..

Stuffgamer1

#40

Stuffgamer1 said:

I still think they'd do better to get rid of the blind pack power disks. Right now, that and lack of funds are the two things keeping me off this franchise...and the latter being solved won't be enough to change my mind.

Captain_Gonru

#41

Captain_Gonru said:

@Joshers744 I've never understood Tuesday launches. You're half a week away from a paycheck (in one direction or another)and it's a work day (so you can't necessarily grab it when the store opens). Sunday, meanwhile, is frequently right after pay day, and, as a weekend day, you can be there at open and enjoy your game all day long.

Wowfunhappy

#42

Wowfunhappy said:

Are you guys going to have a review of this game up soon? I want to take advantage of the preorder bonus but the lack of reviews is worrying considering the abnormally large investment this game requires.

Zombie_Barioth

#43

Zombie_Barioth said:

@Relias
Exactly, people will eventually get tired of it wether its due to too much of a good thing or reality catching up to them doesn't matter. Sadly its yet another thing the industry will milk until the cash cow runs dry.

A TCG/CCG would probably be another matter if they went that direction. I know people who got tired of keeping up with them but the likes of Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Magic: the Gathering show just how much longivity a well done card series can have.

PikminWorld

#44

PikminWorld said:

I know this is unrelated to Disney Infinity but, I am curious since Nintendo seems to have a strong relationship with Disney, (Planes being exclusive to Nintendo consoles, right?) and since they own Star Wars and gave making Star War games to EA who at the moment isn't making games for the Wii U, is it possible that Disney could make them make games like Battlefront 3 for the Wii U? I don't know much about publishers and other company relationships but just wondering. Anyways going back on topic Disney Infinity probably will be a huge hit with kids especially the ones who liked Skylanders a ton. The fact that their favorite Pixar characters could be a toy and a video game character will be adored.

Nico07

#45

Nico07 said:

@Nintenjoe64 I wasn't remotely interested in Skylanders but will be picking this up for Wii U. No where in this article does it state that the development costs where for the Wii U. These were combined costs for all platforms. Strange that it doesnt use NFC from Wii U Gamepad but I think the cross platform is why. From what I understand characters give you playable characters, playsets give you locations, and playpacks give you items. The starter pack from Walmart has four characters, four playpacks and from what I understand, three playsets for $75. The things that drew me to this game are characters like Rapunzel my girls love (sold seperately) and local multiplayer in all game modes.

Nico07

#46

Nico07 said:

@PikminWorld Battlefield is an EA property with no tie to Disney. EA has basically said they don't care to release major franchise games on Wii U unti there are more consoles in homes (aka Nintendo first party titles need to be released first). Then EA will come crawling back with their Frostbite engine that surprisingly runs great on Wii U!

Cohort

#48

Cohort said:

Don't know why Disney don't just make a deal with Nintendo to make their games, it would be a match made in heaven..

Volmun

#49

Volmun said:

im mostly getting this for the Online sandbox level creating (i use to really like LBP untill it was over ran by trolls -_-) and for the Nightmere Before Christmass pack id love a Jack Scelington figure

Gridatttack

#50

Gridatttack said:

Well, I hope they planned the gameplay to be good. Otherwise it will fail....

However, I think this will be better than skylanders, since it doesnt include any OC, but instead includes many knowns characters, which cant obviously go unnoticed.

Also they are still many interesting IP left out (like Star Wars), that could be used for sequels to continue milking the cash cow...

Whopper744

#52

Whopper744 said:

@Captain_Gonru I could understand that, but Saturday or Friday would make the most sense to me. Sunday is the last day of the weekend, and for me, I go to church in the morning and many times in the evening as well, while the day before that on Saturday, I'm wishing I had a new game to play, ya know? :p

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...