Ever since Disney revealed its grand Infinity gaming universe, we’ve been wondering when Marvel-themed playsets would arrive — or even if they would. Disney bought Marvel in 2009, and it made sense the characters would show up: Infinity would be the perfect setting to flaunt the newly subsumed superheroes. Problem was, nary a whiff of Marvel could be found at Infinity’s January 2013 launch.
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Just after CES wound down back in January, I was part of a (relatively) small group of journalists and bloggers present at the Disney media event that revealed Disney’s Infinity game universe to the world. Problem was, I had no clue why I’d been invited, as all the hoopla was about the console game. Toward the end, I bumped into Bill Roper, Disney’s product development chief, and asked why I was there as I gulped down a delicious, miniature milkshake.
His answer was cryptic. But the reason I’d been invited has just made its entrance onto the app store today — it’s the Disney Infinity: Toy Box iPad app, a virtual sandbox mashup that allows anyone with an iPad to take a variety of Disney characters and play with them in different Disney worlds. And it’s free — for now.
About a month ago, right after the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, Disney held a small, invitation-only press conference in Los Angeles where they revealed their ambitious, stunning new cross-platform Infinity game universe. They invited us, of course. Only problem was, Infinity had practically nothing to do with anything Apple.
After all the fanfare, when the event was almost over, I pulled aside one of the Disney folks and asked why the heck they’d invited me; turns out iOS is why I was there, and that they had a big mobile-related announcement coming — and this picture just might be its enigmatic messenger.
LOS ANGELES — It felt like a wrap party for a big-budget Hollywood flick at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre, complete with fancy food and big names like Pixar chief John Lasseter in attendance. But Disney’s Infinity announcement on Tuesday was a massive project in which Pixar, the Disney-owned digital animation studio that once belonged to Steve Jobs, played only one of the major roles.
As it was revealed, Infinity is an amazing, massive, cross-platform, multiplayer game system based on figurines from the Disney catalog of movies — right now most of them specifically from Pixar titles.
“It will be global, and it will live across all platforms: console, mobile and online,” Lasseter said on Tuesday.
All platforms? Unfortunately not. Perhaps Disney has forgotten that Steve helped build Pixar into the powerhouse it is today; because while a Windows version will be present along with versions for all the major console systems at Ininity’s June launch, there won’t be a Mac version — at least, not at first.