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But the good news is fans of the Disney Infinity “toys-to-life” video games will soon be able to swing lightsabers, fly X-Wing fighters and bring down Imperial Walkers on the icy surface of Hoth. The third iteration of the game – called, appropriately enough, Disney Infinity 3.0 – will feature characters, creatures and planets from the Star Wars movies, the first time the galaxy far, far away has made an appearance in Disney Infinity.
“It was very important for us to create an authentic and complete Star Wars experience,” said Ada Duan, vice president of digital business and franchise management for Disney-owned Lucasfilm, at an event this week unveiling new details about Disney Infinity 3.0.
Like Activision’s Skylanders franchise, Nintendo’s Amiibos and the upcoming Lego Dimensions, Disney Infinity blurs the line between toys and video games. The game allows players to insert characters into the onscreen action at will, just by putting a figurine on an electronic base connected to the game console. And the collectible aspect of these figures has made this relatively new concept in video games very, very lucrative for the companies involved.
Just as last year’s Disney Infinity 2.0 introduced Marvel characters into the mix, Disney Infinity 3.0 will launch this fall with a US$ 64.95 starter pack that includes Anakin Skywalker and his Jedi learner Ahsoka Tano, from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series. Over the fall and into the holidays, new waves of playsets and separately sold figures will be released, including a Star Wars: Rise Against the Empire collection that will allow players to recreate moments from the original trilogy with Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie… and no Boba Fett.
Deciding on which characters in the ever-expanding Disney pantheon to bring into the Disney Infinity games “is one of the most difficult parts of the Disney Infinity development process,” John Vignocchi, vice president of production at Disney Interactive Studios, told us.
“Determining what the roster is, and who the characters are that are being added each year, is something we often spend months and months of time debating and discussing.”
A third Star Wars playset, based on this December’s upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will be released around the time of the new film. Disney and Lucasfilm were mum on which characters might be included, but we’d bet a stack of Galactic credits that it will be Finn (as played by John Boyega in the movie) and Rey (Daisy Ridley). Rey in particular is a lock, as Disney said they’re keen on making sure female characters are strongly represented in playsets going forward.
Also on the immediate horizon is a playset based on the upcoming Disney-Pixar movie Inside Out, and a new set of Marvel figures that will include the villainous Ultron and Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armour from Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Star Wars characters, locations, vehicles and props are just a small part of the changes coming to Disney Infinity 3.0, though. Disney has considerably beefed up the game’s Toy Box mode, where characters from different movies can battle bad guys across five themed worlds or tear up the track in a new kart racing mode.
And while we’re not allowed just yet to talk too much about how the Star Wars component of the game plays, you can imagine how much fun it might be able to take down Imperial Walkers using a Snowspeeder’s tow rope, or dodge enemy TIE Fighters while making a final assault on the Death Star. (Yes, it is a lot of fun. And yes, unlike the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront, Disney Infinity 3.0 will feature a space combat element.)
By the time all these new playsets and figures are released this year, “Disney Infinity will feature one of the largest rosters of playable Star Wars characters in a video game,” said Lucasfilm’s Duan.