In a bit of a surprise announcement, Disney’s toys-to-life game, Disney Infinity, which introduced Star Wars characters in its 2015 release of Infinity 3.0, is going to be shut down in June.
In line with the company’s quarterly financial report, Disney decided to end the popular game, which was first introduced in 2013, and shutter the game studio, Avalanche as the company moves out of game publishing and toward solely being a game-licensing company, much like when Lucasfilm shifted LucasArts out of making games and just into licensing games to companies like EA. Disney won’t be pulling the plug immediately, as there are a few more products coming out this month and in June.
On the plus side, those Disney Infinity figures that have already been spotted on clearance will probably get even more discounted at the retailers. Star Wars figurines include characters from the original trilogy, The Clone Wars, The Force Awakens and Rebels.
Here’s a bullet I’m glad we dodged back in the day: Jordan Maison at Cinelinx reports of an Episode VII game idea that was floating around Lucasfilm in late 2004.
Episode VII: Shadows of the Sith would have put you in the role of an adult Ben Skywalker,” Haden explained, “who was walking the line between the light and dark sides of the Force, unleashing new Force powers never-before-seen in games or movies as he investigated a new threat to the galaxy (a Solo…).
The now decanonizedBen Skywalker was born close to the middle of the New Jedi Order series, in 2001’s Edge of Victory: Rebirth. At the time the idea was in play, The New Jedi Order series had ended with The Unifying Force almost a year before, with Ben still a toddler. His next appearance was the Dark Nest trilogy, which began with The Joiner King in July 2005.
Note again: This was just a pitch/concept, which makes it an interesting might-have-been, nothing more.
The idea of Episode VII being a game just doesn’t sit right at all… But if the game had made it to production I doubt that would have remained the title. Still, it’s interesting to imagine what we might have gotten if this had been in play for the increasingly disappointing final years of the Legends novels.
Revealed today at StarWars.com, the cover for Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed. The game tie-in comes out November 3, 2015, in the long drought (ha) between Force Friday and The Force Awakens. As it happens, the novel’s blurb quietly went up a few weeks ago and I never got around to posting about it, so here you go:
The bravest soldiers. The toughest warriors. The ultimate survivors.
Among the stars and across the vast expanses of space, the Galactic Civil War rages. On the battlefields of multiple worlds in the Mid Rim, legions of ruthless stormtroopers—bent on crushing resistance to the Empire wherever it arises—are waging close and brutal combat against an armada of freedom fighters. In the streets and alleys of ravaged cities, the front-line forces of the Rebel Alliance are taking the fight to the enemy, pushing deeper into Imperial territory and grappling with the savage flesh-and-blood realities of war on the ground.
Leading the charge are the soldiers—men and women, human and nonhuman—of the sixty-first mobile infantry, better known as Twilight Company. Hard-bitten, war-weary, and ferociously loyal to one another, the members of this renegade outfit doggedly survive where others perish, and defiance is their most powerful weapon against the deadliest odds. When orders come down for the Rebels to fall back in the face of superior opposition numbers and firepower, Twilight reluctantly complies. Then an unlikely ally radically changes the strategic equation—and gives the Alliance’s hardest-fighting warriors a crucial chance to turn retreat into resurgence.
Orders or not, alone and outgunned but unbowed, Twilight Company locks, loads, and prepares to make its boldest maneuver—trading down-and-dirty battle in the trenches for a game-changing strike at the ultimate target: the very heart of the Empire’s military machine.
Lucasfilm and ILM today announced that they’ve formed the ILM Experience Lab (ILMxLab) to create “immersive content” – aka virtual reality and such. Coming one day to a theme park or gaming console near you, probably!
This one has been floating around for a bit, but if you look at the timeline in the upcoming novel releases, (see the previews for Lords of the Sith or the A New Dawn paperback) you’ll see a list of much of the canon content thus far. (Basically, everything save the comics.) Included on this list? Battlefront. We know a new Star Wars Battlefront game is coming, but a timeline placement for it between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back seems odd, seeing as we’ve heard that the game itself will cover several eras. (With much of the publicity art so far devoted to the Battle of Hoth from Empire.)
But it would make sense if this is actually a Battlefront novel tie-in that covers only one portion of the game. Jedi Bibliothek (translated) thinks this book may be Untitled Novel #24, which is set for November 3, 2015. It also features a bio for Steve Perry, but as usual, that is neither here nor there at this point.
We had feared (or hoped, in some cases) that #24 would be The Force Awakens novelization, but that is looking increasingly unlikely.
Jason also learned that the new Battlefront game will span the entire saga – including some post-Return of the Jedi stuff. (“Lucasfilm has a lot of plans for that era.” Damn right they do.) The final section of the game will involve a battle early on in The Force Awakens. The game is apparently due to drop only a month before the movie’s release… It’ll be interesting to see if it actually makes that window.
With LucasArts’ X-Wing now 21 years old, it’s exciting to see this franchise come back around as these space simulator games were top notch back then, and probably still hold up well today. Most of my freshman year of college was enjoyed with this game, and sophomore year eaten up with TIE Fighter. Could this mean that the later space sims in the series, X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter and X-Wing Alliance, be up for release as well?
As for Knights of the Old Republic, calling this a classic makes me feel old – but it has been 11 years since the game first came out, and it remains one of the best stories set in the galaxy far, far away.
There have been rumblings about some sort of Star Wars news this week, but so far, all we have is a new game. Disney Interactive and LucasArts today announced Star Wars: Attack Squadrons, an online game that is apparently just what it says on the tin.