Disney is breaking the barrier between video games and real life toys with the multi-platform game “Disney Infinity.”
The game was developed by Avalanche Software and will be distributed by Disney Interactive Studios, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), this August. “Disney Infinity” uses collectable figurines and discs that can be synchronized in-game, allowing characters from both the Pixar and Disney universes to interact with each other. The toys store character information, which is read through an “Infinity” reader that comes with the game.
"Disney Infinity" has drawn comparisons to the "Skylanders" video game series published by Activision, subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI). The "Skylanders" series uses a similar concept by utilizing near-field communication to interact with figurines purchased to interact with the game.
"Disney Infinity" functions as a hybrid video game and merchandise platform that allows you play as several Disney and Pixar characters from movies such as “The Lone Ranger,” “Pirates of The Caribbean,” “Monsters Inc.,” “The Incredibles” and “Cars.”
The game contains several levels and worlds, called Playsets, which allow the player to experience different movie worlds within the Disney universe.
The game also has another feature called the Toy Box, which is an open world where players can build just about anything using items obtained from other “Disney Infinity” play sets. The feature looks similar to the sandbox environment of “Minecraft,” a hit independent video game released for the PC, Xbox, iOS and Android in 2009.
The Toy Box isn’t limited to just building though, with players given the ability to fight as their favorite Disney Characters.
The debut marks just the beginning of an “Infinity” franchise. Disney announced at its D23 expo that it plans to release additional waves of characters in the fall and winter, according to an Associated Press report.
The new set includes Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie from “Toy Story," Wreck-it Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz from “Wreck-it Ralph,” Sorcerer Mickey from “Fantasia,” Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and more characters to add to the “Disney Infinity” universe.
The starter pack for the game is expected to cost $74.99 and will include the game, a reader, three characters, three play sets and an add-on disc called a “power disc,” which adds features to “Disney Infinite,” akin to a Downloadable Content (DLC) pack, commonly found on multiple video game platforms.
“Disney Infinity” will be available for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii U and Wii on Aug. 18.