Now it’s time to say goodbye to “Epic Mickey.”
The interactive division of the Walt Disney Co. announced Tuesday that it is closing Junction Point Studios, its Austin, Texas-based developer that created 2010’s “Disney Epic Mickey” and its 2012 sequel “Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.”
Disney said the closure is part of its “effort to address the fast-evolving gaming platforms and marketplace” and to align its resources with its key priorities.
“We’re extremely grateful to Warren Spector and the Junction Point team for their creative contributions to Disney with `Disney Epic Mickey’ and `Disney Epic Mickey 2,'” the studio said in a statement.
Disney acquired Junction Point in 2007. The studio was led by “Deus Ex” and “Thief” creator Warren Spector.
Both “Epic Mickey” games were set in a twisted version of Disneyland called Wasteland and featured Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit as protagonists.
“I said to myself as Junction Point embarked on the `Epic Mickey’ journey that, worst case, we’d be `a footnote in Disney history,'” Spector posted Monday on Facebook. “Looking back on it, I think we did far better than that. With Mickey Mouse as our hero, we introduced a mainstream audience to some cool `core game’ concepts – and, most especially, we restored Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to a place of prominence.”
The first “Epic Mickey,” which was released only for the Nintendo Wii, was the sixth best-selling game the month it was released in 2010. “Epic Mickey 2,” which was available for the Wii, as well as the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360, didn’t crack the top 10 when it was released last November, according to gaming industry tracker NPD Group.
Disney unveiled plans earlier this month for a new franchise combining a toy line and a game called “Disney Infinity,” similar to “Skylanders” from Activision-Blizzard Inc. “Infinity” is being developed by Disney’s Salt Lake City, Utah-based developer Avalanche Software and is set to debut in June alongside “Monsters University,” the 3-D prequel to the 2001 Disney-Pixar film “Monsters Inc.”
By DERRIK J. LANG