Disney Infinity Constructs BioShock Infinite's Columbia

Disney Infinity Constructs BioShock Infinite's Columbia

Disney Infinity's Toy Box mode lets users create many varied environments, including those heavily inspired by unrelated shooters.

Disney has always been a colossal media giant, even before it added Han Solo and Captain America to its repertoire. These many, varied properties are what allow games like Disney Infinity, the crossover based on Disney's licensed properties, to become a reality without extensive cross-company legal agreements. Still, Disney doesn't own everything pop culture related (at least not yet). What happens if its creators want to design something inspired by, say, Irrational's BioShock Infinite? The answer: Make it anyway as a less-than-subtle homage. At least that's how Disney Infinity is proceeding with "Toy Columbia", a recently revealed toy box environment eerily similar to Infinite's floating vistas, even if the racism and civil strife are noticeably toned-down.

Toy Columbia is one of five new worlds that Avalanche Studios created to highlight Disney Infinity's Toy Box mode. Players can use Infinity's objects and resources to craft a variety of unique environments, a feature that will eventually extend into user-made downloadable content. "This toy box was created using existing and available Toy Box components," Disney Interactive director of communications Brian Nelson explained. "It's meant to resemble an environment our community might recognize, and it's part of our strategy to push out new, and sometimes surprising, Disney Infinity content every Thursday. We've already made more than a dozen new toy boxes available for players, including a recreation of Disneyland, and we plan to push new worlds every Thursday. Later this month we will also begin calling for user submissions, and the best entries will be made available for all connected players."

Seeing homages like this isn't entirely surprising; every time a videogame offers custom creation tools, one of the first things you see are faithfully recreated levels from other games. That said, it's pretty surprising for a major developer to be this upfront about a crossover without slapping BioShock Infinite's name on the title. Apparently Disney Infinity doesn't just encourage players to make what they want, it also shows them how to get around copyright: With a distinct lack of trademarked material and a knowing wink to the audience.

Source: Eurogamer

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That's cool and all, but I have to wonder if some kid out there will look up what inspired that toy box and stumble across Bioshock Infinite, with all of it's xenophobic buzz saw-to-the-face glory. And don't try to deny it ever happening either. Kids these days are more clever than we give them credit.

Combining dystopian 1912 America with childhood nostalgia makes for one hell of a thematic dissonance, and it's awesome!

The Hall of Heros and Emporia sections were based upon Disney World (or maybe Land), so now the cycle is complete.

For a second there I thought they were building a Bioshock Infinite area at Disneyworld.
And then followed crushing dissapointment.

Hmm, if I was involved with Irrational or 2K, I'd be talking to my lawyers about this already.

The sad part about this story is that as sue happy as Disney is...

IF another company did this to some of THEIR IPs...they'd be suing the shit out of them.

Adding in Carl's House from UP is a nice touch. I wonder who thought of that?

Tanis:
The sad part about this story is that as sue happy as Disney is...

IF another company did this to some of THEIR IPs...they'd be suing the shit out of them.

This. They are so big, that they think they can do anything they want. They could at least have asked Irrational, and I bet they would have come to an agreement. This is a strange marketing stunt to get a wider demographic in their game; I think it is really strange to combine a game primarily for kids with a game like Bioshock.

Wait what the hell, since when is Bioshock Disney property... or is this just straight up theft.
And why the hell are you aping other peoples IPs when your existing worlds are just waiting to be made and fit a billion times better to this kids game.

fractal_butterfly:

Tanis:
The sad part about this story is that as sue happy as Disney is...

IF another company did this to some of THEIR IPs...they'd be suing the shit out of them.

This. They are so big, that they think they can do anything they want. They could at least have asked Irrational, and I bet they would have come to an agreement. This is a strange marketing stunt to get a wider demographic in their game; I think it is really strange to combine a game primarily for kids with a game like Bioshock.

Remember kids, it's only fair use if the corporations are okay with it, or if you're a corp yourself! It's worth noting that practically every time a corp gets snippy about people using it's IP, they're (probably, and at least outside of actual infringement) only using legal action as a chilling effect to scare people, and wouldn't be likely to win in court if someone could actually afford to pay the legal bills.

OT:Now that I think about it, I'm not actually sure if Disney is allowed to do this. Technically it's a user made mod, but the user was made by DISNEY to promote their game (never mind the age difference between the 'target markets' guys, just remember who Irrational used in their focus test groups), more or less explicitly telling everyone where they got the idea from.

I seriously doubt that it will be in the actual game, of course, merely the tools to recreate it, and that fact may very well be enough to let them off the hook. I don't have enough legal knowledge to know for sure if merely using material that's a look-alike from another game to promote your own is enough to get you in trouble, but I imagine it would. People have gotten into deep shit for less (i.e. Using IP Not for profit or even for charity). This could very well be similar to the Nyan Cat VS Warner Bros. debacle.

T-Shirt Turtle:
That's cool and all, but I have to wonder if some kid out there will look up what inspired that toy box and stumble across Bioshock Infinite, with all of it's xenophobic buzz saw-to-the-face glory. And don't try to deny it ever happening either. Kids these days are more clever than we give them credit.

Considering they can find mind-scarring porn by just googling Disney's own characters with Safe Search on, I doubt Disney particularly cares about those sorts of side effects anymore.

...and the video is down.

 

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