Reporting on Jay Rasulo’s appearance during a conference last week, Business Insider has speculated on a statement Disney’s CFO made regarding the future of gaming. According to the report, Rasulo has promised two ‘game-changing’ titles in the upcoming [fiscal] year, the first being ‘Epic Mickey 2,’ due out on November 18 and the second as-of-yet-unannounced title to debut at some point in 2013.
Cycling through a list of upcoming films and deeming none of them game-changing, the article jumps to the (hopeful) conclusion that the upcoming title is ‘Kingdom Hearts 1.5,’ a recently announced title known to be exclusive only to Japan. This speculation has spread like wildfire, being reported on several gaming news sites.
We however think differently. We actually are aware of several projects at Disney Interactive in the works that have not been announced. The more likely to be the project that Rasulo was hinting at is a title called ‘Disney Infinity,’ formerly known internally as ‘the sandbox.’ Pictured here is actual artwork for the game’s logo taken from a not-well-known but publicly-accessible website.
Although we actually don’t have much information on Disney Infinity, what we do know from our sources is that it indeed could be referred to as a game-changer. One source compared it to ‘Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures’ in which players would interface with the game via Disney character ‘toys’ using RFID.
Another project, which we have discussed in the past a bit, is called Disney Imagination Online which we are told is definitely a social game, likely to be in development by Playdom, in which players can create and share their own ‘Magic Kingdoms.’
However only time will tell.
Admittedly, this little puppy has been sitting in the Stitch Kingdom inbox for a long time, but recent activity makes it harder to ignore. You see, back in March, Disney registered a slew of domain names at once, including: disneyimaginationgame.com, disneyimaginationgame.net, disneyimaginationworld.net, disneysimagination.net, disneyworldofimagination.net, imaginationonlinegame.net, disneyimaginationonline.com, disneyimaginationonline.net, disneyimaginationworld.com, disneysimagination.com, disneyworldofimagination.com, imaginationonlinegame.com, disneyimagination.net, disneyimagination.org, disneyimaginationgame.org, disneyimaginationonline.org, disneyimaginationworld.org, disneysimagination.org, disneyworldofimagination.org and imaginationonlinegame.org.
Can you detect a pattern here? The sheer number of domain names registered as well as the common thread should have been enough for us to jump all over it, but alas, it did not. So why do we choose to revisit this months-old topic all the way in July? Not because of what Disney did then, but what they did just the other day. And that was — yes, you guessed it — registered even more domain names. But not just any domain names… international domain names: disneyimaginationonline.at, disneyimaginationonline.ch, disneyimaginationonline.com.ve, disneyimaginationonline.dk, disneyimaginationonline.in, disneyimaginationonline.it, disneyimaginationonline.jp, disneyimaginationonline.pl and disneyimaginationonline.ru.
So apparently this project will ultimately be called Disney Imagination Online, but the real question is just what is it? We know that China already has an online MMO called Disney Fantasy, developed by NetDragon, in which players (or, as the music to Bob Iger’s ears sings out, subscribers) build virtual castles in worlds based on Disney properties. And, of course, there was the free Virtual Magic Kingdom over which many fans still lose sleep at night over losing.
If we were betting folk, and we are, our bets are placed on a future Disney MMO with a free/paid subscription model essentially modeled after Club Penguin, Pixie Hollow, World of Cars, et al.,but with Captain Rockhopper sporting Mickey Mouse ears instead of a pirate hat (and no beard, to conform with the Disney Look).