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Disney stars crossover in upcoming 'Infinity' game


 Wonder what would happen if Sulley and Mr. Incredible met? You now have your chance.
Walt Disney Company
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Date published: 1/28/2013

BY DERRIK J. LANG

AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES

--Capt. Jack Sparrow driving Cinderella's carriage? Mr. Incredible swinging the Queen of Hearts' flamingo mallet? Sulley from "Monsters, Inc." galloping around on Bullseye from "Toy Story"? Those are just a few of the silly scenarios that could become a virtual reality with "Disney Infinity," a new endeavor from Disney combining a video game with a toy line.

The Walt Disney Co. revealed plans recently to launch what it's billing as a new gaming platform that's strikingly similar to Activision's successful "Skylanders" franchise.

"Infinity" will blend real-life toy figures depicting various Disney personalities with a sprawling virtual world where those same characters can do stuff like race cars, play games and construct buildings together, as well as go on adventures in their own realms.

"Infinity" will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, PC, online and on tablets and smartphones. It's being crafted by Disney-owned developer Avalanche Software, which created the 2010 game based on "Toy Story 3." That game's "toy box" mode served as inspiration for what eventually became "Infinity."

Akin to "Skylanders," the plastic figures have the ability to store data and transmit characters' histories through a reader. Also like "Skylanders," the toys can work between consoles, meaning a Mr. Incredible figure can seamlessly go from a PS3 in your living room to the Wii in your friend's basement.

The game is essentially divided into two modes: "play sets," featuring structured adventures where gamers can collect vehicles, scenery, gadgets and more; and the "toy box," an unstructured open world where users' imaginations can run wild, much like the games such as "Minecraft" and "LittleBigPlanet." Both modes allow for gamers to play cooperatively or online together.

"Infinity" serves as something of a homecoming for Disney's very different heroes. While disparate Disney characters can sometimes be spotted together in theme parks, on ice or the merchandising world, they are rarely united within any of Disney's fictional domains.

Was there some uneasiness about not only aligning these diverse properties, but also giving up control of such beloved creations to users?

"The truthful answer is yes," said John Pleasants, co-president at Disney Interactive. "There was both apprehension and excitement. In the end, excitement and the potential for new opportunities won over. It wasn't without a lot of conversations with a lot of stakeholders though."

Fictionally, the characters depicted in "Infinity" are not the actual characters themselves but the real-world toys come to life on screen. To that end, the figures all maintain the same toy-inspired style, more apparent in the scallywags from "Pirates of the Caribbean" than say the playthings from "Toy Story," and the game's graphics are equally toy-like.

"Infinity" is set to debut in June, along with "Monsters University," the 3-D sequel to the 2001 Disney-Pixar film "Monsters, Inc."

If "Infinity" becomes as financially successful as "Skylanders," it could provide a much needed boost to Disney Interactive.

A starter pack for "Infinity" will include the game, reader, play set piece and three figures: Sulley of "Monsters University," Captain Jack Sparrow of "Pirates of the Caribbean" and Mr. Incredible of "The Incredibles." Pleasants said the starter pack will cost $74.99, the same price as the "Skylanders: Giants" starter pack released last year.

disney.go.com/disneyinteractive studios