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Would rumored Marvel and Star Wars toys get more adults to play Disney Infinity?

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Skylanders seems like an obvious money-maker in retrospect, but at the time, few thought millions of kids would flock to the integrated toy / video game hybrid. Now the little plastic guys are so big that competitor Disney Infinity, the House of Mouse’s own near field communication (NFC) game, has sold 3 million copies worldwide (and that’s not counting the add-on toys). The game was made to feature countless expansions and additions, but why limit the scope to Disney and Pixar characters? It looks like Disney Interactive is ready to keep the Infinity franchise growing, which was the only positive bit of news linked to rumored layoffs at the company. There are potential Marvel and Star Wars sets on the horizon. Could this finally expand the reach of NFC games beyond children?

Just to be clear, I’m not saying adults can’t enjoy games like Disney Infinity or Skylanders. It’s that they can’t really play those games without being mocked by judgemental folks like me. The in-game visuals looks infantile, and most of Infinity’s toys cover franchises like Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean--stuff I feel too old to be interested in. Infinity was clearly made for kids and that's fine with me, because I buy too much junk as it is.

It was all so easy to dismiss, but Marvel and Star Wars sets could change all that. People have been dreaming of Star Wars and Marvel Infinity expansions ever since the game was announced. Disney owns both of those massive properties, making a battle royale between Darth Vader, the Hulk, Donald Duck, and Miss Piggy all too possible. If the rumors are true, then this could introduce the property to a whole new audience beyond its initial kids crowd: the prevalent, money-spending consumer known as the geek.

The Comic-Con attendees out there (myself included) snap up almost any piece of merch featuring their favorite superhero or Jedi. These older fans may scoff at Mickey, but would they do the same to Captain America? For example, there was a time I spent every dollar I had on the tabletop game HeroClix. I was committed to getting a complete set of every iteration of Spider-Man or Green Lantern HeroClix had to offer. I shudder to think of how much more I’d have spent if those figurines unlocked characters in a halfway-decent video game.

Plus, beneath Infinity’s kiddie graphics was a lot of potential that went unfulfilled. You could see a lot of effort had been put into it, but the level creation tool was unwieldy, and the campaign felt bland. Perhaps focusing on Star Wars and Marvel characters could open up the franchise to more refined designs than in the first entry. Then again, maybe these would just be stand alone spin-offs? That would allow the games to have a whole new aesthetic and controls. Then again, that might mean that the figures couldn't crossover with one another, and I don’t think that’d be worth the sacrifice.

And Disney can’t afford to slack off on Infinity in the same year that Nintendo starts taking NFC games seriously. As announced at a recent press event, Nintendo will premiere a new toy / game combo title at E3 2014. If Mario is getting hardcore about NFC, then Infinity needs Marvel and Star Wars to make a big splash, getting gamers hooked before they can get addicted to a competing toy series. Though it could stay kiddie, Disney needs to pull in the kind of devoted fanboys that’ll stand in line all day for a variant Doctor Doom statue, or pay $100 on eBay for a ghostly Anakin Skywalker figure. Jack Sparrow just isn't going to cut it anymore.

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14 comments

  • SnakeinmyBoot - February 7, 2014 7:21 a.m.

    Considering the sets cost grande moola and kids can't afford them, Disney should try broadening their market with Star Wars and Marvel. I don't know how successful this has been for them, though you know companies will jump at the chance for mo money. They could even make a new starter set with a more adult look to get them hooked. I just know there's plenty of people that won't touch it anyway. I never liked Kingdom Hearts and what that did to both franchises' characters, but I thought Wind Waker was the best looking game of it's generation. It's kind of based on an individual's interest. Disney just needs to try out that untapped market.
  • jue-mad - February 7, 2014 4:49 a.m.

    Henry, I hope you can see the irony in making fun of adults playing Infinity while you play with your superhero figurines.
  • winner2 - February 4, 2014 3 p.m.

    Nope. At least, I wouldn't pay a penny for it. That's like the most expensive game looking thing I've ever seen. Most I'll ever pay for a game being pretty certain of a good experience is 80$ for a pre order collectors edition if that, and I've only done that once.
  • Cinaclov - February 4, 2014 12:38 p.m.

    Donald and Howard the duck? Together in one game?
  • nick-stancato - February 4, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    Infinity is a giant cash grab, which is why I didn't play - otherwise I would. And I'm a massive fanboy for SW and Marvel; I don't want to say I'd cave, buy I'd probably cave for those games. But the greed and overpriced nature of this marketing design really pisses me off
  • brickman409 - February 4, 2014 12:41 a.m.

    A friend of mine sold me his Disney infinity game, along with around 5 or 10 of the figurines for only $40(which is kind of good deal, considering that the starter pack alone sells for $70). Anyways, I played it once, and then I never played it again. I don't really care much for the game. If they make Starwars, and Marvel figures, I might buy one or two of them just to get some use out of the thing.
  • Tranquilbez34 - February 3, 2014 11:56 p.m.

    I'm an almost 19 year old male who is two lay-away payments away from owning the starter pack to Disney Infinity. Hell, I already have about nine of those Infinity figures. I also own about 30 something skylanders figurines and two games already. Now I love the concept of both of these franchises but I do feel a little ashamed buying all of these products (playing them whist online I have no problem with, ironically). So having Marvel and Star Wars toys and playsets for Disney Infinity will be perfect. Also, imagine the surprise to everyone when Ninetendo announce that smash brothers Wii U will be an NFC game. If that's the case then my dreams of buying a PS4 or XBONE this year go right down the drain
  • GOD - February 3, 2014 11:18 p.m.

    No it would make me king of upset, because it seems that the game itself still wouldn't really entice me. If they could make the game itself something I'd actually want to play, then maybe those additions could get me to buy it. Otherwise, I don't care if they add Admiral Ackbar, it still wouldn't make up for the gameplay so I'm not falling for that TRAAAAAP!
  • GOD - February 3, 2014 11:21 p.m.

    Also, Nintendo"s NFC game will utilize blindbox/booster packs for whatever Nintendo characters/Pokemon you can collect and it will destroy everyone's wallets.
  • Shigeruken - February 3, 2014 9:30 p.m.

    I would play the game if I found it fun, regardless of the toys.
  • GamesRadarCollanderCooper - February 3, 2014 9:05 p.m.

    No, but Henry would.
  • GraphicRogue - February 3, 2014 8:57 p.m.

    I bought the Disney Infinity Starter thing around Black Friday almost purely for its potential addition of Star Wars/Marvel stuff. The pairings could be amazing, i'd also like some Muppets stuff but thats more of a nostalgia thing.
  • shawksta - February 3, 2014 7:42 p.m.

    Marvel would definitely be a step up. Hmm, makes you wonder if Nintendo is gonna expand what already exists with Pokemon or something else entirely, i cant think of another series that can do it well.
  • David_Roberts - February 3, 2014 6:20 p.m.

    I'm a grown-ass man, and I play Disney Infinity. With my five-year-old daughter, of course. Yes. But throw Star Wars and Marvel in there? They've officially opened up a portal right into my bank account. Goodbye, money. It was nice knowing you.

Showing 1-14 of 14 comments

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