The concept will let you play with any Disney or Pixar character in a sort of digital "toy box".
The Walt Disney Company - you know, the world's biggest entertainment company who recently bought Star Wars - makes a ton of money, but the Disney Interactive division hasn't done too well recently. Disney reported in November that the gaming division is the only part of the company operating at a loss - losing $216 million in fiscal year 2012. Disney hopes a new idea could change things around but it needs to build positive buzz quickly. Perhaps that's why an insider let loose a bevy of internal videos describing a gaming initiative which includes hot-button gaming trends like open-world and sandbox gaming while embracing all platforms including the iPad and new consoles. If the internal concept videos of in-game footage released to Polygon are to be believed - and there are too many of them showing too much information for this leak to be an accident - Disney Infinity promises a family-friendly open play virtual space where you can mess around with your favorite characters.
The videos described by Brian Crecente at Polygon show the player controlling well-known Pixar characters like Buzz Lightyear and Woddy from Toy Story. The snippets of gameplay displayed Woody using a "sticky hand" to jump from platform to platform in a mechanic that felt similar to the grappling hook in Just Cause 2. Another let you design a race car track and then zoom along it using the model of Lightning McQueen from Cars.
Disney Infinity is being developed by Avalanche Software in Salt Lake City, the same outfit that designed the Toy Story 3 videogame. That's significant because the title boasted a Toy Box mode and Disney Infinity feels like a much larger and more elaborate spiritual successor to the Toy Box concept. So it stands to reason these guys know what they are doing.
Disney will no doubt share more information at a press event scheduled for mid-January in which John Lasseter - the chief creative executive at Disney - promises to unveil the full Disney Infinity initiative. Based on what's been described to us in these top-secret and conveniently leaked videos, the concept looks pretty sound. It should be better than Epic Mickey anyway.