Poor Content: Disney’s “Infinity” May Lack Staying Power

disney infinityDisney’s new gaming system, “Infinity”, was released in August and promises users a customizable gaming experience that can be played on multiple consoles. Smartly, Disney has incorporated some of its top film personalities into the game, allowing the company the option of adding more as more films are released. Gamers now have the option of playing characters from Pirates of the Caribbean, the Incredibles, or Monsters University, among other titles. Until recently, Disney’s previous video games have not fared well in the gaming world. Games such as Epic Mickey and Club Penguin have failed to impress and quickly left the memory of gamers everywhere. Not familiar with these smash hits? Exactly my point.

This time, Disney hopes to turn its poor luck in the video game industry around with “Infinity.” While Disney is known for repurposing content and precisely reaching their target audience, the company is just now venturing into cross-branding. Let’s look at what they’ve done differently this time.

Disney’s Hypothesis: Hit Movies + Custom Content = Gaming Success

Never before has Disney incorporated such a range of characters into a video game. Disney’s “Infinity” appears to be taking a stab-in-the-dark at cross-branding. After a series of failed attempts to produce compelling games, the company is hoping that its new approach will turn heads and keep gamers captivated.

Its new gaming system can be played on any modern platform including Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo. In addition, October 2013 will see the release of Disney Infinity’s PC and iPad compatibility, allowing users to play the game wherever they want. Additionally, gamers can purchase the game’s “Toy Box” which allows for the creation of custom gaming content that can be shared with friends.

What the Kids (and Game-Buying Adults) Are Saying

This is really all that matters for Disney, as it will determine the fate of “Infinity.” As much as Disney needs to gain attention from its target audience, it needs to wow the price-tag paying parents as well. Unfortunately, preliminary reviews shed light on some game design issues that result in poor content delivery and frustrating game play. If Disney hopes to salvage its reputation as the leader in “Imagineering,” as Daniel pointed out on the CEM blog, it will need to help convince parents of its worth – as well as its younger audience.

What Businesses Can Learn from Disney’s New Approach

Disney has led America in something I like to call the “imagination revolution,” which has pushed the boundaries of our minds and hearts while charming us with likeable characters, both friend and foe. Disney’s ongoing attempt to tell their story in an engaging format is commendable and demonstrates they are trying to learn from previous mistakes.

However, the same thing that has harmed their gaming reputation in the past – poor content – threatens do so again. While the fine folks at Disney are constantly reinventing their content strategy, the best thing they can do at this point is produce a top-notch gaming experience that engages users. Only time will tell if they’ve hit the mark with “Infinity” – but they are at least getting closer.

Does quality of content often affect your gaming choices? Do you think Disney’s “Infinity” will be a long-term success?

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Victoria Schleicher is a graduate of the University of South Florida and holds a BA in Psychology. Although Victoria was successful in the mental health field, she chose to instead pursue her passion for writing and art, and is happy to be a part of the Content Equals Money team. When not writing, Victoria likes to create art, play with her cat, read, and go running.

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