Disney Infinity 2.0 is coming, and Disney Interactive hosted a live announcement event to promote the second generation of the playground game that brings various disney properties together.
Samuel L. Jackson appeared on-screen in character as Nick Fury to start out the presentation, virtually introducing Clark Gregg to come out and help with the introduction of Marvel characters to the franchise.
Disney Interactive president Jimmy Pitaro came on stage and thanked Gregg for the introduction. Pitaro said that before any new information, they’d be talking about what they’ve done so far with the property.
"With Disney Infinity, we aim to emulate" what kids do on their own - play with all their toys at once. “Disney has always been about making memories with your family. We have a belief that if we build great products and put our guests first, market success will follow.”
The starter pack has sold more than 3 million copies, with over $500 million in global sales since launching last August. Pitaro thanked the Disney Interactive team for their hard work, and specifically for launching a new first-year franchise so strongly. “Despite the fact that we’re up against several high-quality products, according to NPD Group, we have outperformed our competition in terms of total sales revenue. There’s plenty of room in this category, and quality products” will help that growth.
Interactive Gaming Toys grew by 79% in the holiday months in 2013, led by Disney Infinity and Skylanders.
One of the innovations of Infinity have been the Toy Box levels, created by fans - more than 10 million have been created and downloaded so far.
”Of course, we need to add great new characters and create innovative new gameplay. No other company in the world has a treasure trove of characters and brands like Disney does,” Pitaro said. That, coupled with the developers and the game engine and company support will allow for continued growth. “They have across the board embraced the project in every way possible.”
That brought the presentation to Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes. The game will launch Fall 2014. Pitaro, before turning the presentation over, said that the characters forced them to change the way they looked at the gameplay, and he was excited about that.
A trailer was next, showing Captain America’s shield flying through environments and characters from across the Disney pantheon. The cast of The Avengers was shown fighting against Loki and MODOK, then joined by Rocket Raccoon and Groot, and finally Spider-man.
Gregg came back on stage and said “Was that Loki?” before making a disgusted face (since Loki killed his character in the movie). Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment joined Gregg on stage, and they joked about how the character Coulson was “missing” from Thor 2 and Cap 2.
Quesada then took over, and admitted “I am Hydra” which brought Gregg running back on stage saying, “woah, woah woah!”
"Marvel has an incredible history filled with the greatest superheroes ever created,” Quesada said, praising Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko “as well as creators today” for their work. The one thing that makes Marvel heroes different, Quesada said, is that they were “real people with problems.
”This to me is what makes our characters stand out and stand the test of time,” Quesada said. The CCO mentioned that they’ve conquered comics, then conquered the big screen, and now conquered TV. “You’re probably asking yourselves, dude, what’s with the shameless plugs? Because this is one of those moments. This is the next great evolutionary leap for Marvel, joining Disney Infinity.”
Marvel has been heavily involved with the creation of Disney Infinity 2.0, including Brian Michael Bendis, who Quesada called “the most legendary modern creator in the Marvel Universe.”
Bendis was called in to help “create character voices and make sure it breathed, felt, and smelled like Marvel.” He thinks that this is an opportunity to make fans feel like they are “part of Marvel.” When Bendis joined the team, he saw that everyone already working on the game really “knew their stuff,” and that made it an easy job for him. “It’s great to experience these characters with your kids - or on your own!” Bendis also teased that the “stuff we’re announcing today is just the beginning. There are characters and stories coming that are just going to blow your mind.”
Talking about the art style of the game, Quesada said he’s glad that their characters are so iconic, they fit multiple styles and the figures and their graphical interpretations capture the fun of their characters. The pair of creators took that opportunity, then, to show off some of the figures, including Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Thor, and Hulk - the full lineup of the Avengers film. Quesada said the design makes them “amazingly collectible” as well.
John Blackburn and John Vignocchi of Disney Interactive were next to the stage, and said they wanted to “listen to the players and improve the platform for them.”
All the figures from 1.0 will work fine with Disney Infinity 2.0, as well as all the power discs and Toy Boxes, the pair assured fans. The Toy Boxes were “a little tougher for us,” Blackburn said, but they did get it working. The Disney Infinity base is fully compatible, too, “everything from 1.0 is fully compatible with 2.0.”
The new starter pack will come with Thor, Iron Man, and Black Widow, plus the Avengers playset piece and two new “interactive game pieces.” They’ve added multiplayer to the adventure games, and the new interactive game pieces add-in new game modes into Toy Box. There will also be new Disney content added into 2.0. The game will be available for WiiU, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, and iOS.
There are over a dozen more characters to come in the Marvel Super Heroes collection, in addition to the first six, and that’s just what they have ready.
The Metroville playset was the largest in the first version of the game, and Marvel Manhattan is about four times the size. There will be Special Skills, new Locomotion, and customizable Abilities and Skill Trees to move players through the larger areas.
Hover mode and flight are being added in for locomotion, as well as a super jump, wall crawls, and more. For combat, the team had four objectives. “Hey, you’re a super hero, you need to feel powerful!” They also wanted it to be accessible, but expressive and deep, and true to character. Each character has a different class, like ranged melee, brawler, or ranged characters, and will show them each using their signature weapons and styles.
The attributes and skill trees are extensive, and include a raised level cap to 20 for all characters. You can choose new moves, stat upgrades, combos for your character to improve them as you grow in levels.
Of course, 60% of players’ time is in Toy Box mode, and they brought improvements to that, as well. First thing was to improve the usability and accessibility of the Toy Box. Blackburn told a story about his five year-old nephew creating a city for the first time - and it was about 4 buildings. But his nephew was so excited, and so proud, because he had specific stories around his choices.
”But I’m a game developer, and I wanted to make it easier for Logan to make a little bit bigger city,” he said. A new brush system allows you to simply drag the brush around, which then builds the whole world inside it. You can also drop in the new builders, who are assigned to make a different kind of property, like buildings, trees, and caves - then fully edit everything the computer-controlled bots have built.
You can also now build interior rooms, and even make your own home space, where you can put all of your trophies and customizations - there are a lot of Marvel pieces, and other Disney pieces, too.
"You guys all said you wanted structured play inside of Toy Box,” Vignocchi said, and the two that come with the new starter pack, a tower defense game and a dungeon crawler (think action RPGs) game, are each about 4 hours in length. These are, they stressed, in the Toy Box mode, meaning they’re multiplayer ready. Once you play through these missions, you unlock Skirmish mode, where you can mix and match any Marvel and Disney characters to play the new modes.
For your own game-creation in Toy Box, they’ve added in new “logic tools” that will make a more robust game experience. You’ll even be able to add entire rulesets with a game template that have “all the logic tools already connected.” All Toy Box are up to four player multiplayer.
There are 80 new power discs coming, in two different waves. One new set are sidekicks, with characters like Iron Patriot and Winter Soldier coming in to assist you in your adventures. There are also alternate costumes. New vehicles like motorcycles, Lola the flying car, and a mini-helicarrier are coming into the game, as well.
To thank the community of Disney Infinity players, the pair of Johns had one more announcement. They have actually hired a builder from the community to create new, free content, and they plan to hire more people that way to the development team.
”We’re super excited to see what our players come up next, now that the badasses from Marvel Comics are joining the Disney Infinity platform,” Vignocchi concluded.