A Traveller’s Tales designer accuses Disney of copy-and-pasting the Lego titles to create Disney Universe.
Disney recently unveiled a new title in the works called Disney Universe, a multiplayer co-op platformer where players wear different costumes of Disney characters to perform unique abilities. Traveller’s Tales design director Jon Burton is less than pleased, calling Disney Universe a ripoff of the studio’s Lego games.
Traveller’s Tales is well known for an entire line of Lego titles such as Lego Batman and Lego Star Wars. In response to the Disney Universe announcement and trailer, Burton tweeted: “Disney rip off our Lego games and LittleBigPlanet to create [Disney Universe]. Best of luck to them.”
He later tweeted that Disney Universe‘s drop-in, drop-out co-op, adaptive difficulty, different abilities depending on costume worn, and the ability to play through several films was “Lego in 2006.” He adds: “I’m not saying we invented the stuff, but it’s an identical formula.”
It seems a little salty. Disney Universe is definitely sharing ideas with the Lego titles and LittleBigPlanet, but is that such a bad thing? Combining the gameplay of the two series and adding Disney themes and characters from movies such as Tron, Alice in Wonderland, and Monsters Inc. could make for a fun title. From early previews, Disney Universe appears to add to the basic experience of the games Burton names with enemies that seem more devious and by allowing players to level up their costumes, to name a couple of examples.
After taking some heat, Burton tweeted: “Obviously, I’m just messing around about Disney Universe. But you’ve got to agree, it’s definitely Sackboy in the lead role, right?” First of all, he’s never even played Disney Universe, which is part of the problem, but you’d think a developer would understand that this is what games do. They take inspiration from the past and move concepts forward or combine them. If Disney Universe does this, I don’t think it should be criticized, unless it does it badly. Copy or not, for now I’m still looking forward to solving puzzles and smacking down my friends as little Tron guy.