To Infinity and bust: Disney ditches tanking video game business

11 May 2016

Disney is one of the most valuable companies on the planet, and to keep this momentum going it’s decided to cut one of its least profitable divisions, which, in this case, is its video game development business.

It’s hard to think of Disney as anything but a giant money-making machine, what with its ownership of Marvel Studios, the rights to the Star Wars franchise and Pixar Films, however, its financial reports reveal that not everything is going so well.

Disney’s Consumer Products and Interactive Media division saw its operating income decline by 8pc to $357m, which it put down to the demise of Infinity, its self-published video game production studio.

What eased further losses to the division, the company said, was the success of Star Wars merchandise, yet Frozen merchandise has finally begun to fall out of favour.

Not the end of its connection with video games

Following the release of its quarterly report, news began to trickle out that these losses incurred by Infinity were to result in the studio, which turned its characters into video games, being closed.

This was then confirmed in a statement released by Disney Interactive’s general manager, John Blackburn, who confirmed that it was discontinuing production of Infinity games.

“Our goal for Disney Infinity was to bring the best of Disney storytelling to life in homes around the world, and with your support we accomplished that. We hope you had as much fun playing the game as we had making it,” he said.

Despite the closure, the studio will release two final games, Alice Through the Looking Glass and Finding Dory, but Disney’s connection with video games is not totally lost as its licences for Star Wars and the Marvel films will see it bring in revenue from games produced by other game studios.

Disney Infinity image via Ricky Brigante/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic