Wii

Epic Mickey Developer Shut Down

by Tyler Ohlew - January 30, 2013, 7:57 am PST
Total comments: 16 Source: http://t.co/MDUxjuLl, Polygon

Junction Point Studios and Warren Spector no longer have a home at Disney Interactive.

Junction Point Studios, the developer behind Epic Mickey and its sequel, has been shut down.

The closure, as reported by Polygon, was confirmed by a representative of Disney. This source said the reason behind the move was "changes to our Games organization."

Following the closure, Junction Point's president and co-founder Warren Spector stepped down as the vice president of Disney Interactive Studios.

The news comes in light of reports that Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two had only managed to sell 270,000 copies across all available platforms in the US. It has not been confirmed that this played any role in Disney's decision.

Junction Point Studios was founded in 2004, and later acquired by Disney in 2007. As a company, their motto was "play style matters," and their goal to "tell stories with players, not to them, allow them to craft their own, unique experiences."

Talkback

TJ SpykeJanuary 30, 2013

Yesterday was sad for other Disney fans too since Green Lanturn: The Animated Series and Young Justice were both canceled.

broodwarsJanuary 30, 2013

Quote from: TJ

Yesterday was sad for other Disney fans too since Green Lanturn: The Animated Series and Young Justice were both canceled.

Disney doesn't own DC Comics. Warner Bros. does.  And I'm not shedding a tear over either one of those series being canceled, especially Young Justice since that show was killed by the writers with that stupid time leap in Season 2.

As for Junction Point, they created two spectacularly mediocre Epic Mickey games. I won't miss them or Warren Spector's continual bloviating over game experiences he's promising but isn't actually going to deliver.  Disney's made other studio closures in the past I didn't agree with (such as Black Rock Studios), but Junction Point had more than their shot with a mascot it seemed really couldn't fail...and they blew it.

azekeJanuary 30, 2013

Quote from: TJ

Yesterday was sad for other Disney fans too since Green Lanturn: The Animated Series and Young Justice were both canceled.

YJ was horrible and it was soul crushing to see once great writer knowingly doing this to his own fans.
Green Lantern was and still is a great show. It started pretty decently as "Star Trek:TOS with Hal Jordan" but as it's own mythology grown it became one of the best superhero shows of late along with Avengers: EMH (damn you Loeb).

Mop it upJanuary 31, 2013

I don't find it surprising, Epic Mickey 2 had a huge staff and sold way less than the first game, even though it was released on four platforms. I'm actually pleased with this, people learned their lesson from the first Epic Mickey and didn't buy another mediocre game.

pokepal148January 31, 2013

At the same time their core values are ideas that have sort of fallen a

Quote:

side in gaming

pokepal148January 31, 2013

Wtf happened here

Kytim89January 31, 2013

Could the Epic Mickey series continue with a new team of developers?

broodwarsJanuary 31, 2013

Quote from: Kytim89

Could the Epic Mickey series continue with a new team of developers?

I'm sure it could, but why should anyone continue it?  At best right now it's a wannabe Kingdom Hearts game starring Mickey Mouse. Even making a second game was always a stretch, as the original never felt like a game that deserved a sequel.

Luigi DudeJanuary 31, 2013

After Epic Mickey 2 there's nothing that can be done to really save this series.  The first Epic Mickey sold very well its first month because of the hype but then crashed after because of terrible word of mouth.  Epic Mickey 2 was already a hard sell because of the first games quality poisoning the well, but then the sequel ends up being considered the same quality and by some accounts even worse pretty much kills any hope of a third game.

After 2 games that were almost universally considered mediocre at best, nobody is going to buy a third Epic Mickey, even if it was to end up being the greatest game ever made since the brand is beyond tainted at this point. 

We'll still get new Mickey Mouse related games in the future but the Epic Mickey series is dead.

azekeJanuary 31, 2013

Forget Mickey, Disney.

Donald is where it's at. Or Scrooge game would be even better.

PlugabugzJanuary 31, 2013

Disney closed Black Rock Studio because they didn't want to make AAA games anymore and shift to freemium and mobile games.

Then, having said that, they make Epic Mickey (with 700 people involved?), then make a second - both are average at best. The second doesn't sell as well. They close Junction Point.

Then, along comes Disney Infinity.

Conflicted message, maybe?

TJ SpykeJanuary 31, 2013

Studios can change strategies.

And Black Rock Studio was shut down because Split/Second was a very expensive game to make and it bombed (around 500K worldwide for all versions combined).

broodwarsJanuary 31, 2013

Quote from: TJ

And Black Rock Studio was shut down because Split/Second was a very expensive game to make and it bombed (around 500K worldwide for all versions combined).

Yes, I know, and I consider it one of the biggest tragedies this generation since IMO it's the best non-cart racing game released this gen.  It also reviewed very well (the PS3 version's currently sitting at an 84 on Metacritic).  Unfortunately, Disney in their infinite wisdom chose to release it the same month as Modnation Racers, Blur, AND Red Dead Redemption.  So yeah, I totally blame Disney for sending that game out to die, because from all appearances Black Rock Studios did their job very well and they were shut down as a reward.

ShyGuyJanuary 31, 2013

Quote from: azeke

Forget Mickey, Disney.

Donald is where it's at. Or Scrooge game would be even better.

This man knows what's up.

Ian SaneJanuary 31, 2013

I'm going to also throw in some praise for Split/Second.  It's not just a great game but it's a very creative one.  The unique twist of triggering disasters for the racers to avoid is such a fun idea.  Don't we move to these new console generations with the hope of encountering new ideas?  Split/Second offers it and it gets ignored.  We complain about videogames becoming cookie cutter and generic but WE CREATE that with our purchasing decisions when we ignore great creative games in favour of generic ones.

As for Epic Mickey, you get the feeling that publishers greenlight the sequel before the first game is even finished.  Oh wait they do exactly that with a good example being Square Enix's contribution to this gen being sequels and spinoffs to a FF game that everyone hated.  You release Epic Mickey and it does not get that well reviewed and the sales are not that impressive so why would you ever make a sequel?  The idea of the sequel is that people like the first one so they check out the follow-up.  Much of the entertainment industry seems to think that people just like sequels, PERIOD, like putting "2" at the end of the title somehow ensures a hit.  If the first one sucks, you're a complete FOOL to try for a sequel.  Since Epic Mickey 2 isn't even that good it was essentially a con game.  The first game wasn't that good and neither was the sequel so all along Disney Interactive was relying on conning people into buying a lousy product.  Well there's a high risk of failure with something like that.

The best part of Epic Mickey was the concept art that was released when the game was first announced.

HypotheliciouslyJanuary 31, 2013

Split/Second was dope. I bought it and beat it despite the HORRIBLE between game cutscenes and few maps. I don't think it's better than Criterions first Need for Speed game this gen. That game was amazing.

I have never played Epic Mickey, but it was a cool idea. Sad to see them go.

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